Ordination of Fr Francis Denton

July 14, 2015

There was much joy for the wider St Patrick’s College community in late June when former student Francis Denton (SPC 1994-99) was ordained to the priesthood at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne.

In doing so, Fr Francis became the 317th Old Boy to pursue such a life of faith, and the first since the ordination of Fr James Kerr in 2013.

The Cathedral was filled to capacity on Saturday, June 27 to witness the ordination of Fr Francis, along with two other new priests – Charles Balnaves and John-Paul Mount, who also has a St Patrick’s College connection as his sister Therese taught at the College in 2013-14.-

In the ceremony, with Archbishop Hart as principal celebrant, the families, friends and fellow students of the three men witnessed their ordination in a spirit of great joy.-

Fr Francis Denton was born and raised in Ballarat. Fr Francis is one of nine children of Peter and Mary, and has a brother who is a priest, Fr Anthony Denton (SPC 1984-89), former Director of Vocations in Melbourne and more recently Rector of Domus Australia in Rome. The two brothers embraced heartily at the ordination, with Fr Anthony vesting his brother in the priest’s chasuble during the ceremony.

Father Francis paid tribute to his time in formation at Corpus Christi College in an article on the Archdiocese of Melbourne website.

–‘My years in the seminary have been formative in ways I could never have imagined: humanly, spiritually and pastorally,- he said.

-Seminary formation might be summed up as an apprenticeship in loving as Christ loved us. I am grateful to the many faithful priests, religious, friends and families who have inspired and supported me in my vocation.-

Adding to the strong Ballarat flavour at the ordination the St Patrick’s College Chamber Choir performed during the ceremony.

More than 30 young men in the choir were able to give up their holiday time for the musical experience of a lifetime. –

They were joined by several seminarians and clergy as well as professional singers to accompany the liturgy singing Haydn’s -Little Organ Mass-.-

This was a fantastic opportunity for the young men to actively express their faith and their support of these fine new priests.-

The Cathedral was filled to capacity, so the young men sung for over 1500 people as they supported Melbourne’s Archbishop, assistant bishops and approximately 100 priests as the three men were ordained.-

This tour took a significant amount of preparation and dedication, spending many lunchtimes in rehearsal and would not have been possible had several staff not given up their holidays to accompany the young men in the Chamber Choir.-

A photo gallery from the day can be see at this link