17 June 2024

‘God will be there at the centre’: Fifteen new deacons ordained at St Paul’s Cathedral, Anglican Diocese of Melbourne 2023

The Reverends Pedram and Leili Shirmast at their ordination as deacons. Photo: Janine Eastgate.

Kirralee Nicolle

4 February 2023

Newly-ordained deacons have been encouraged to rely on each other when challenges come their way.

Fifteen ordinands from churches across Melbourne braved the wet weather to be ordained as deacons at St Paul’s Cathedral, surrounded by family, friends and fellow parishioners.

Parish of Flinders with Balnarring parish deacon the Reverend Christine Barren delivered the sermon, urging the ordinands to prioritise serving others as God serves.

Read more: Tereaza, Monica and Rebecca follow call to ministry

“Each day we are to seek God revealed as the great I am; God revealed as the serving human Jesus and God as the Holy Spirit who has the potential to blow through our lives in life changing ways,” Ms Barren said.

Ms Barren told the ordinands that rather than expecting privileges, they should expect challenges to come.

Friends congratulate the Reverend Monica Matoc after her ordination. Picture: Janine Eastgate

“History certainly is filled with stories of those who believed that they were entitled to be given the best seat at the table, but Jesus made it very clear to his disciples that this was not his way,” she said.

Read more: A Chinese dissident’s daughter, Xiaoxi Lou wants people to know Christ

“There may well be times when our ministry is ridiculed by the wider community in which we live; we may fear that our ministry appears irrelevant to many we would seek to serve. It is then that each one of us must have the courage to reach out to another in the nighttime of our fear.”

Ms Barren concluded with the encouragement that God would be present in the deacons’ ministry.

“On this journey together, I have no doubt that God will be there at the centre of all that we do,” she said.

New deacon the Reverend Pedram Shirmast said it was a miracle to be able to be ordained together with wife the Reverend Leili Shirmast.

Read more: Ordinations to the priesthood 2022, Anglican Diocese of Melbourne | In pictures

“It’s a very rare and a very strange thing to happen that God’s called both of us,” he said. “I really praise the Lord for this opportunity that he gave us to be ordained as a family.”

Mr Shirmast said the pair were excited to continue ministering to the Farsi community at Deep Creek Anglican Church, and planned to begin a church in Doncaster East for Farsi-speaking and Afghan refugees who were in vulnerable settings.

St Vincent’s Hospital pastoral care coordinator The Reverend Samantha Lo was ordained with the stole belonging to the late Reverend Dr Brian Porter, a Melbourne Anglican priest, author and academic who died on 29 October 2022.

Read more: ‘It is Christ who has called you’: Eighteen new priests ordained

The stole was first worn by Dr Porter at his ordination to the diaconate in 1968 at St Paul’s Cathedral. Ms Lo had cared for Dr Porter as chaplain at Karana Baptcare Community nursing home until his death.

Dr Porter’s wife Dr Muriel Porter said it was very emotional for her to see the stole which had adorned her late’s husband’s coffin be worn by Ms Lo.

“It’s a wonderful, wonderful celebration,” she said. “It’s his ministry living on.”

The service was presided over by the Right Reverend Dr Bradly Billings, Assistant Bishop. The deacons ordained were:

The Reverend Tereaza Audo

The Reverend Yzeh (Joey) Chan

The Reverend Tim Collison

The Reverend Aaron Ghiloni

The Reverend Zhitao (Hertz) He

The Reverend Amanda Lincke

The Reverend Samantha Lo

The Reverend Weiyi Lou

The Reverend Xiaoxi Lou

The Reverend Rebecca Mading

The Reverend Johnny Maryoe

The Reverend Monica Matoc

The Reverend Candice Mitrousis

The Reverend Leili Shirmast

The Reverend Pedram Shirmast

This story was updated on 7 March to reflect the fact that Amanda Lincke is pictured in the second photo, rather than Candice Mitrousis as the caption originally stated.

For more faith news, follow The Melbourne Anglican on FacebookTwitter, or subscribe to our weekly emails.

Share this story to your social media

Find us on Social Media

Recent News

do you have A story?

Leave a Reply

Subscribe now to receive our newsletter and stay up to date with The Melbourne Anglican

All rights reserved TMA 2021

Stay up to date with
The Melbourne Anglican through our weekly newsletters.