Married Uniting Church pastor ordained to Catholic priesthood

Fr Bob Harwood's wife and three children were on hand to support him for his ordination to the priesthood last week by Brisbane's Archbishop John Bathersby.

The Catholic Leader reports the Fr Harwood was ordained to the priesthood on Wednesday last week after a journey he says he was "called to and needed to make".

Unlike most Catholic ordinations, he was joined by his wife Grace, his three children, Kate, Tim and Niccola, as well as hundreds of friends, family and parishioners at St Mary's Church, Ipswich.

Fr Harwood said he was overwhelmed by the love and support of the people. He was ordained a Uniting Church minister in 1986 and ministered in a number of Queensland towns for the next 11 years.

He said he found over the years that his family began to meet and have more and more Catholic friends, and while he ministered with the Uniting Church the local Catholic priest was often his closest associate.

Fr Harwood said when he became a Catholic it was "just like coming home".

Archbishop John Bathersby ordained Fr Bob Harwood, who will remain at North Ipswich, where he has been based, until the end of the year.

Archbishop Bathersby said he was delighted to welcome Fr Harwood aboard what he described in his homily as "a very fragile, somewhat leaky but very human ship".

Archbishop Bathersby also congratulated North Ipswich parish priest Fr Denis Scanlan for his formation of Bob Harwood and the people of Leichhardt and North Ipswich parish who had supported his calling to priestly ordination.

Pictured: Fr Bob Harwood supported by his son Tim (in front), wife Grace (right), and daughters Kate (left) and Niccola

Continuing call (Catholic Leader 11/9/05)

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Archdiocese of Brisbane

8 Sep 2005