Ordinand’s Statement

Ordinand’s Statement
of Dc Robert John
(Gravestock)
at his Ordination to the Priesthood

All Saints’ Day, 1st November, 1981
Melbourne


IF I AM TO BE HONESTt with you, then I cannot truthfully say I have always possessed a burning desire to become a priest and to serve God. Religion did not play an important part in my youth. And on the few occasions when I did attend Sunday school I do not remember learning very much and I was always in trouble for talking and not paying attention.

When I first attended The Centre in Albany in 1973 I still had no great interest in religion. I was more concerned with what information I could obtain on such topics as reincarnation and numerology. My first visit to the Albany Centre was when my parents took me along to hear Rev Mario speak on these topics, and my early dealings with The Centre were restricted to such lectures.

Over the eight years in which I have been associated with The Centre − first in Albany, then in Perth, and now here in Melbourne − I have gradually been led into an understand and an appreciation of the liturgy and other forms of worship practiced in this church. In the early days of the Albany Centre, Rev David Andrews conducted a simple meditation and healing service when he visited us each month from Perth. When Rev Elsie Jenkins was appointed as our first fulltime pastor I was introduced to the Cosmic Mass, and an appreciation and understanding of liturgy and worship was draw out in me. These alive and dynamic workship services awoke in me feelings that were at once both foreign and familiar, and the mystery of the liturgy became relevant to my existence. It was Rev Elsie that first fully involved me in The Centre through this work.

This new appreciation of religion that was developing in my life provided a means of experiencing that which I was being taught in the lectures I attended. It also provided a channel for my response to and my expression of the teachings I was experiencing. As a consequence I came to discover that part of my being that responded to the experience of the religion The Centre offered me, and it complimented and extended my intellectual endeavours.

After completing high school, I moved to The Centre in Perth where I lived and worked. Through the many facets of Centre life I grew in my understanding of myself and the world around me. Rev Mario and others have given me the knowledge and guidance that I needed, and The Centre has been a channel through which I can experience and express all that they have taught me.

When earlier this year Rev Mario announced that he wanted to ordain me, it was as much a surprise to me as it was to others. It took me a long time to come to terms with the commitment that was being asked and I had great difficulty determining what ordination meant to me. Over the past few months I have come to the realization that ordination is the opportunity and the responsibility to share with other people that which I have learnt and experienced. The knowledge and experience I have gained of myself, of Christ, and of God have been invaluable to me in my self-development. I know how this knowledge and experience has changed my life. I know how it has enriched my life. And I know that it can do the same for others.

I want to dedicate myself to experiencing further the presence of Christ in my life, and in word and deed I want to express and share this Christ-presence with all the people I come to meet.


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