Benedict Mackenzie ordained a priest of the Catholic Church
On Wednesday 3 September, Br Benedict of the Eucharist FSF (Mackenzie) was
ordained a priest of the order of the Friars of St Francis by the Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP. A thousand people filled St Bernadette’s church at Dundas Valley, including family and friends, members of St Bernadette’s parish-school community as well as priests and seminarians of the Dioceses of Parramatta and Wollongong and the Archdiocese of Sydney.
“Life doesn’t always turn out like you planned”
Fr Benedict said that God had a different plan to the one what he had originally intended and he thanked the many people who had been involved in his formation. He originally had “simple” dreams of growing up, having a family, and living in the world as a faithful Catholic man.
“I’m even more grateful God chose other plans (because) life is better, more vibrant” he said.
Fr Benedict thanked many priests who showed him an example, Bishop Emeritus Kevin Manning, Fr Eugene Szondi, Fr Cesar Echano (now Vicar-General and seminary rector of the Diocese of Daet, Philippines), Fr John O'Neill, Fr John Hogan, Fr Wim Hoekstra, Fr Peter Joseph and the Opus Dei community. He also thanked his brother Friars of St Francis community, Fr Christopher FSF and Fr Ruben FSF stating that to live with them is to “share in my joys, sorrows, strengths and weaknesses”.
“Family: No stronger Witness”
Fr Benedict, one of 12 children, thanked his parents for his vocation, stating that family is where he first drew a deep appreciation for the priesthood. He said that there was “no stronger witness to the priesthood”, and his mother would have loved if all her children had become priests and nuns. He said that his family sowed the seeds “with your deep trust”.
“The most important thing of all is as baptised people we have the priesthood, even the initial priesthood of loving the Lord and helping me to this path - even if it has been telling me how much of an idiot I have been at times”.
Fr Benedict asked for prayers stating that “All I need is God’s grace”. He also thanked Bishop Anthony for choosing the date, the feast of St Gregory the Great, the anniversary of Bishop Anthony’s ordination as Bishop 11 years prior.
“The world grows old and hastens towards its death”
In his homily, Bishop Anthony quoted the words of St Gregory the Great “The world grows old and hastens towards its death.” He reminded Fr Benedict of his role as priest, “Your name in religion is Br Benedict of the Eucharist: now you will be an instrument of that wonderful sacrament that even St Francis never was.”
“Know, therefore, what you are doing and imitate the mystery you celebrate. In the memorial of the Lord’s Passion, make every effort to die to sin and walk in the new life of Christ.”
“In St Gregory’s words you must believe the sacred page you study, teach what you believe, and live by what you teach. Like St Francis make of your life a Gospel in which men may read of Christ.”
Fr Benedict will continue to serve St Bernadette’s Parish, Dundas Valley, which is in the pastoral care of the Friars of St Francis.
Read Bishop Anthony’s Homily in fullGo to Mass of Ordination to the Priesthood of Br Benedict FSF Photo Gallery
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