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Fr Pius Mary Noonan OSB, left, Archbishop Julian Porteous, Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett and Fr Bede Mary Cannavo OSB (Hobart Archdiocese/Patrick Giam)

Tasmania’s Benedictine monks celebrated their first ordination to the priesthood, as Fr Bede Mary Cannavo OSB was ordained at St Canice’s Church in Sandy Bay. Source: Hobart Archdiocese.

Fr Bede was the first Australian-born member of his community at Notre Dame Priory in Colebrook, central Tasmania, to become a fully professed monk in 2021. He said the ordination ceremony on April 3 was “truly awesome” and “humbling”.

“I was praying for the grace of receptivity, to truly receive the Sacrament with as much devotion as possible, and to receive the grace to be made worthy of such a great gift,” Fr Bede said.

“It was incredibly humbling to be surrounded by so many priests, and to have them impart their prayerful support through the laying on of hands. Among their number were several who have known me since I was a child.”

“The bishop prayed that through the anointing and his blessing that what my hands bless and consecrate may be blessed and consecrated; that henceforth, these hands would handle the most Holy Eucharist. An incredible grace!”

The church was overflowing for the historic ordination Mass celebrated in the Extraordinary Form and lasting more than three hours. About 28 priests attended as well as Fr Bede’s parents and many friends from around the country.

The Sacrament of Ordination was conferred by Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett, emeritus bishop of the Diocese of Lismore, and Archbishop Julian Porteous, who first invited the Benedictine monks in 2017 to found a community in Tasmania, preached and presided over the ceremony.

Prior of the Notre Dame community, Fr Pius Mary Noonan OSB, said the first ordination in the fledgling Benedictine community gave them “great hope for the future”.

“Given that we are only in our eighth year of existence, we are immensely grateful to Divine Providence for having made it possible so soon,” he said.


Tasmania’s Benedictine monks celebrate first priestly ordination (By Catherine Sheehan, Hobart Archdiocese)