New Australian Religious Institute established
Archbishop Christopher Prowse described the establishment of the Missionaries of God’s Love (MGL) as a religious institute of diocesan right on Saturday 8th February 2014 as “historic not just for the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn but for the entire Catholic Church in Australia”.
“It is not often that a new religious institute - totally Australian in inspiration and development - is formed in our new but ancient land,” he said.
Archbishop Prowse officiated over what both he and MGL founder and moderator Fr Ken Barker described as a joyful occasion at St Christopher’s Cathedral in Manuka. An early champion of the MGL, former Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn Francis Carroll, also attended the Mass.
MGL is believed to be one of only two or three home-grown religious congregations, with no founding links to overseas orders. And Fr Ken Barker understands it is the only remaining such congregation for men to be formally recognised by the Vatican.
It was established in 1986 by Fr Barker, who was ordained as a priest of this Archdiocese in 1974, and now has about 60 members in missions and formation houses in Canberra and Melbourne, and missions in Darwin, Sydney, Manila and Indonesia.
During the inauguration Mass, MGL priests and brothers professed public vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
Fr Barker said the inauguration was “not about the Missionaries of God’s Love only … It’s a people of God event.”
But while it was “definitely a time to be grateful to God”, it was not a time for self-congratulation or a complacent belief that “we have finally made it”. “We have only just begun,” he said.
Bishop McKenna concelebrated the Inauguration Mass
Information/Photo courtesy of Geoff Orchison - Catholic Voice, Canberra
A bit about the Missionaries of God's Love
The Missionaries of God’s Love (MGL) began within the Disciples of Jesus covenant community in Canberra in 1986, under the guidance of Fr. Ken Barker.
The MGL describe their mission as to "share Jesus’ mission to bring this fire to the earth. It is the fire of God’s love, burning in the heart of Jesus, which took Him to the Cross. It is also the fire of the Holy Spirit poured out at Pentecost, and now experienced in a new way in the Church. The Missionaries immerse themselves in this fire through the grace of “baptism in the Spirit,” through daily meditation on the Cross of Jesus, and through Eucharistic adoration. With this fire burning within their hearts, they give all for the sake of the Kingdom and, commit themselves to the spreading of the Good News of God’s love to the ends of the earth"
"We are priests and consecrated brothers together in mission, sharing in the work of evangelisation in a collaborative way with lay people. We always seek to empower the laity in their journey towards holiness and their mission to spread the good news. In return, we draw much strength and support from the lay community which is integral to our identity. We aim to lead people to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and to experience a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their lives. We also seek to help people develop their gifts and to equip them with the knowledge and skills they need in order to be able to bring the good news of Jesus to others".
MGL Priests and Brothers sense a call to work especially with youth/young adults and the poor, and currently have missions in Melbourne, Canberra, Darwin, and Manila (Philippines). A mission will also begin in Indonesia at the end of 2013. Ministries within these missions are many and varied, including: Youth Retreats/Conferences; Men's Ministry; Indigenous ministry; University Chaplaincy; Parish Ministry; Teaching; Short-term domestic and overseas.
More information is available at the MIssionaries of God's Love website - http://mglpriestsandbrothers.org/