A new generation breaking through
It was a night of jubilation and celebration as the Missionaries of God’s Love (MGL) Priests and Brothers welcomed three young men into perpetual vows at St Christopher’s Cathedral in Canberra. Brs Joshua Whicker, Justin Uzabeaga, and Shehan Fernando made their final vows before a covid-19 limited but joyful congregation.
“Each of these brothers has worked hard in their formation in preparation for this day,” said MGL moderator and founder Fr Ken Barker. “It was very moving for us all to see them profess vows for life.”
After a significant time in lockdown, 30-year-old Br Joshua Whicker felt that the celebration was something of a ‘breakthrough.’
“It was just such a happy, joy-filled, and anointed Mass. After such a long time separated from friends and family, to be able to gather together was so special,” he said.
“I have come to know a God who is good, faithful, and who is love; God has changed my life. So how could I not give everything?”
The congregation included families, friends, and parishioners. Many more watched the live stream, including Br Shehan’s family, who joined the celebration online from Sri Lanka.
Fr Steve Fletcher MGL, the acting rector of the JPII House of Studies in Melbourne, where the brothers have been living for the past five years, saw this as a significant event in the history of the MGL.
“These three men stepping forward in this way represents a new generation of MGLs coming through and stepping forward in their vocations.”
For Fr Barker, the celebration was deeply touching: “I am always deeply moved when very talented young men give their lives to the Lord. It is a wonderful sign of God’s grace at work in the Church today. These three young men have allowed themselves to be captivated by the love of God.”
The Missionaries of God’s Love was founded in 1986 by Fr Ken Barker. Currently, the order has mission centers in Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Darwin, Flores, Indonesia, and Manila.
For more information on the Missionaries of God’s Love, please visit www.mglpriestsandbrothers.org.