Newly ordained Deacons Errol Lobo, from left and Jason Yeap, third from left with Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB and St Charles Seminary Rector Fr Francis Huy Nguyen. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
We are all part of this great family, the family of the Church, all called to be, and become more and more each day, faithful disciples of Jesus, said Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB last Friday 17 February at Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Gosnells Parish.
“People who really do recognise and embrace him as our Way, our Truth and our Life,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
Celebrating the Ordination to the Diaconate of St Charles Seminarians, Jason Yeap and Errol Lobo, Archbishop Costelloe was joined for the occasion by Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton, Vicar General, the Very Rev Fr Peter Whitely VG, Episcopal Vicar for Education and Faith Formation, the Very Rev Fr Vincent Glynn, Episcopal Vicar for Clergy, Fr Minh-Thuy Nguyen, St Charles Seminary Rector, Fr Francis Huy Nguyen, Gosnells Parish Priest Fr Phillip Perreau, in addition to Moora Parish Administrator Fr Simeon San, Thornlie Assistant Priest Fr Israel Quirit and Banksia Grove Deacon Nicholas Diedler.
More than 30 clergy from across Perth concelebrated with Archbishop Timothy Costelloe for the Ordination to the Diaconate of Jason Yeap and Errol Lobo, Friday 17 February at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church, Gosnells Parish. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
A further 30 other clergy from across Perth also concelebrated for the occasion with some 600 parishioners, friends, family of Jason and Errol present.
We might wonder why, continued Archbishop Costelloe, God has called us to such a privileged and, at the same time, challenging and even daunting vocation.
“We look at our own struggles, our own limitations and our own sinfulness and recognise that what God is calling us to is actually beyond us – and we would be right, especially if we were to think that we had to respond to this call on or own,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, centre, with newly ordained Deacon Jason Yeap, seventh from right, and from left, Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton, St Charles Seminary Rector, Fr Francis Huy Nguyen, Simon Yeap, Daniel Yeap, Jason’s mother Anne Loh, father Thomas Yeap, sister Zhenmei, brother Vincent and Amanda, partner of Simon Yeap. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
Speaking after his ordination, 34-year-old Jason Yeap originally studied Civil Engineering at the University of Western Australia, working for some years until he entered the seminary in 2016.
The second of five children – Perth born Jason’s parents Anne and Thomas are from Malaysia.
Jason went to Burrendah and South Thornlie Primary School before taking up a music scholarship (Cello) to study at Perth Modern School, graduating in 2006.
Jason recalled to The Record that he spent much of 2014 and 2015 in discernment.
Archbishop Costelloe hands the book of gospels to St Charles Seminarian Jason Yeap during his ordination to the diaconate, Friday 17 February at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church, Gosnells. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
“Around 2014, I wanted to rule out that God was definitely calling me,” Jason explained, having given the idea of the priesthood some careful consideration for several years before.
However, in 2015, my heart and mind changed to being more open to the possibility – I think I got tired of resisting,” Jason said.
“I realised I needed to change the way I was thinking about it and suddenly God opened all the doors.
However, a particular challenging time suddenly arose, forcing Jason to question whether priesthood was really what God wanted.
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe lays his hands on St Charles Seminarians Jason Yeap, left, and Errol Lobo during their ordination to the Diaconate, Friday 17 February at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church, Gosnells. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
“When I did apply, it was from a place that I could explore what God had in mind for me,” Deacon Jason highlighted.
“I remember asking God if this is really what he wanted, he needed to make it happen,” he said.
A letter confirming acceptance of Jason’s entry to St Charles Seminary was received on his birthday – 18 December 2015.
Deacon Jason will spend the next few months at the parish of Banksia Grove, commencing after Easter.
“I’m feeling very blessed to be giving myself to this ministry, to grow closer to God through serving his people,” Deacon Jason said.
Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
Thirty-year old Errol Lobo came to Perth in 2016 having grown up in, Mumbai, India.
His father, Edward was a retired pilot, while his mother, Rennee, was a teacher prior to becoming a full-time mother.
At the age of 18, Errol’s family re-located to Dubai after his father accepted a position with Air Arabia.
The family belonged to the parish of St Anthony of Padua Church in Mumbai and then also a parish by the same name in the United Arab Emirates.
Newly ordained Deacon Errol Lobo, with parents Edward and Rennee, sister Erlene and grandmother Santhan Lobo and Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
Growing up, explained Errol, the family went to Mass together, and as a teenager he was part of the music ministry and youth ministry, also becoming a catechist for children.
Faith was a constant and natural part of his life.
Errol recalled to The Record that it was from about the age of 19, while he was studying at university, that he felt God was calling him.
“Over time that call became stronger – and I was at peace with that.
“Life was going well, I was very happy, but I knew that I couldn’t be the person God wanted me to be if I didn’t find out more [about the priesthood],” Errol said.
Archbishop Costelloe hands the book of gospels to St Charles Seminarian Errol Lobo during Errol and Jasons Ordination to the Diaconate, Friday 17 February at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church, Gosnells. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
Errol explained that he got to know about Perth and the Archdiocese through his sister Erlene, who was studying a Master of Teaching at UWA.
This led to his application in 2015 to enter St Charles Seminary, commencing in January 2016, having just completed his degree in engineering in Dubai.
“God really allowed it all to happen; it was all very providential,” Errol said.
“And now having been at the Gosnells Parish for the past 12 months as part of my pastoral placement has been a confirmation of this call.
“Being at the heart of the parish, returning to what first attracted me to the priesthood, engaging with the parishioners and school,” he said.
Archbishop Costelloe gives St Charles Seminarian Errol Lobo the sign of peace during his ordination to the diaconate, Friday 17 February at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church, Gosnells. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
Continuing his homily, Archbishop Costelloe said that both St Peter and St Paul knew what every Christian has to learn at some stage along his or her journey of faith.
“It is the presence of the Lord in my life, and my openness to his power at work in my life, that really counts.
“All my own efforts, if they are somehow divorced from him, will in the end achieve nothing. Jesus himself reminds us of this when he says, in St John’s gospel, “without me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5).
It is here, highlighted Archbishop Costelloe, that we can really understand the meaning and role of the ordained ministry in the life of the Church.
“Through this ministry, the ministry of deacons, priests and bishops, the presence of the Lord Jesus to us and with us becomes real, concrete and effective in our lives,” he said.
St Charles Seminarians Errol Lobo and Jason Yeap stand ready to be ordained to the diaconate, Friday 17 February at Our lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church, Gosnells Parish. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.