Two New Priests for Sydney on Feast of the Sacred Heart

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
6 Jun 2016

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP ordained to the priesthood Joseph Hamilton and Daniele Russo in St Mary's Cathedral on the evening of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

"Tonight we celebrate the Ordinations to the Priesthood of two men whose task it will be precisely to promote spiritual sensitivity, theological balance, devotional life, above all an experience of the closeness of God and of communion with Him, for ordinary people" said Archbishop Fisher.

Friends, family and members of the faithful gathered for the celebrations last Friday evening, some of them travelling from as far away as Ireland, Italy, South Africa and the United States. Many priests of the Archdiocese joined the Archbishop, Auxiliary Bishop Terry Brady and Vicar-General Gerry Gleeson along with many guests and representatives for the special event.

In his homily the Archbishop spoke about the devotion to the Sacred Heart which recalls the humanity of Christ and places emphasis on the heart of Jesus burning with love for souls.
"Devotion to the Sacred Heart draws our attention to the compassion of God when we are prone to inordinate awe, to divine forgiveness at times of over-sensitivity to our own sinfulness, to God's mercy in the face of over-consciousness of His wrath. Ours, this devotion reminds us, is a God of love, rich in mercy, who so loved the world He gave His only Son."

The Archbishop spoke about the two ordinands with affection and humour, citing their different personalities and circumstances, united by a common calling.

"The young Joseph Hamilton grew up in Catholic Ireland and as a child regularly and easily talked to God. At university his faith deepened and he developed the helpful habit of daily Mass. A successful career in international finance had its perks, and brought him from Ireland via the city of London to Deutsche Bank in Sydney, but left him feeling something was missing in his life. The magnetic power of Christ finally turned his heart from the economy of 'Mammon' to that of salvation."

"Daniele grew up in an Italian village called Greenacre and attended Catholic schools. Devout friends helped answer his teenage questions about God and the Faith, also fostering devotion to our Blessed Mother. His path was more direct than Joe's: he entered Good Shepherd at 19, completing his formation at the NAC. He tells me he's looking forward to 'accompanying people in their earthly journey toward our heavenly home' as a man of prayer, the sacraments and that Faith with which he has 'fallen in love'. Daniele dreamed of being ordained on the Feast of the Sacred Heart: occasionally dreams do come true!"

Archbishop Fisher concluded by challenging the young newly ordained priests to imitate Christ in all they do.

"You now join in the great work of shepherding His flock, carrying the lost sheep on your shoulders and tending to the lambs. Do this with genuine joy and love, attending to the concerns of Christ before your own."

Fr Joseph Hamilton celebrated his first public Mass on Sunday 5 June, 9.30am at St Michael's parish, Lane Cove, the parish where he has been serving as a deacon since his ordination.

Fr Daniele Russo celebrated his first Mass at St John Vianney & St Thomas More parish, Greenacre on Sunday 5 June at 9.30am. St John Vianney & St Thomas More is where Father Daniele was baptised, had his first reconciliation and confirmation, and the parish where his family still lives, so this occasion was certainly a homecoming for him.

Read the Archbishop's full homily here.