Founding MGL Moderator steps down after 36 years

From Left: Fr Stephen Fletcher and Fr Ken Barker

The Missionaries of God’s Love (MGL) priests and brothers announced the election of Fr Stephen Fletcher, MGL, as their new Moderator.

This election marked the conclusion of the leadership of the MGL’s founder, Fr Ken Barker, who served as Moderator since founding the Congregation in Canberra in 1986.

Fr Barker welcomed the election expressing his delight in the appointment of Fr Fletcher.

“He is well suited for the role,” said Fr Barker. “Having been my assistant for many years. He has a strong missionary vision and a gentle pastoral heart.”

In addressing the MGL priests and brothers, Fr Fletcher urged all to keep their “eyes fixed on Jesus,” to be good stewards of the grace God has given them and to continue to build on the good work already done.

Fr Fletcher attended St Edmunds College in Canberra before studying for a law degree at the University of Canberra.

He then worked in a law firm in Canberra before entering formation and professing vows within the MGLs in 1989. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Francis Carroll on 8th December 1995 at St Christopher’s Cathedral Canberra.

Fr Fletcher has served as chaplain for the St Martin de Porres urban aboriginal community in Darwin, parish priest in Canberra, and formator in Melbourne. In addition, he helped establish the MGL Sydney mission at Peakhurst and Penshurst.

Fr Fletcher is currently serving in the MGL’s Seminary in Melbourne and will take up the role of Moderator immediately.

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The MGLs have 56 professed brothers – 30 of whom are priests with formation houses in Canberra and Melbourne and six mission centres across Australia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

The Holy See formally recognised the order as a religious institute of the diocesan rite in 2014.



Wordpress (4)
  • El Padre 4 months

    Congratulations Fr Steve for your election and Fr Ken for your fidelity to God’s vision. Who would have thought all those years ago that the Church in Canberra would give birth to an vibrant, growing and faithful Order? Well done. Ad multos anos!

  • Frank Lopilato 4 months

    Well done Stephen . Well deserved . 
    Fr Ken well done in your  good work . You were our priest for our wedding on 31 st March 1990. 

  • Deacon Mick O'Donnell 4 months

    Well done, Stephen. We rejoice in this transition of the MGL mission. I well remember calling you at your ordination ‘to present yourself for ordination’ and those halcyon days of the Charismatic Masses on Sunday nights during your formation days in the 80s when Ken, Bernie and Greg would enthuse us with their wonderful ability to make the Scriptures come alive to a packed Cathedral. We thank the Lord for both of you and your presence among us. With ever blessing and good wish, Deacon Mick and Cora 🕊

  • Noel Bentley 4 months

    What a great blessing for the MGL community. Excellent decision.