Ordination to the Priesthood Mass: Fr William Lowry & Fr Matthew Restall

Mass to celebrate Ordinations to the Priesthood of Fr William Lowry and Fr Matthew Restall was held on Friday, July 22, 2022 at St Patrick’s Cathedral Ballarat at 7.00pm.

Bernadette Lynch welcomed those who filled the Cathedral and presented the Acknowledgement of Country.  All were then invited to stand to begin the celebration, with a great procession of clergy and with beautiful voices and music streaming from the choir loft.

Following the entrance procession, Ballarat Diocesan Bishop Paul Bird CSsR, Principal Celebrant and Ordaining Bishop, also welcomed all present which included over 60 diocesan and visiting priests and a large number of Seminarians from Corpus Christi College, Carlton:

Welcome, everyone, as we begin this Mass of ordination to the priesthood. I welcome William and Matthew who are to be ordained. I welcome Emidio and Phyllis and Grant and Tracey and their families and friends.

I welcome Bishop Peter Connors, Bishop Emeritus of this Diocese. I welcome Bishop Shane Mackinlay, originally a priest of this Diocese and now Bishop of Sandhurst. I welcome the priests of the Ballarat Diocese and priests from other places.  (Vicar General Kevin Maloney was an apology for this Mass).

I welcome the deacons and the seminarians and the seminary staff and all who have shared the years of formation with William and Matthew.

I welcome the religious among us. I welcome all the faithful who have gathered here in the cathedral and all those who are joining in this celebration online. 

This is a night on which we give thanks for the mercies God has bestowed upon us. It is also a night on which we pray for continued mercies.

Mass then began with many family, friends and colleagues of the Ordinands involved in ministries:

  • Master of Ceremonies: Rev Gary Jones
  • Seminarian: Cay Trinh (assisting)
  • Deacons: Rev Vinh Do & Rev Huy Nguyen
  • Welcomers / Ushers: Members of St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Ballarat
  • Sacristan: Dr Peter Morris
  • Leader of Song: Vincent Sully
  • Organists: Henrietta Righetti & Xavier Ryan
  • Choir: Members from parishes of the Ballarat Diocese
  • Altar Servers: James Righetti, William Van Der Linden, Thomas Van Der Linden, Henry Van Der Linden, Thomas Kennedy, Rhys Lowther
  • First Reading: Elsie Lowry
  • Responsorial Psalm: Josephine Franklin
  • Second Reading:  Christopher Restall
  • Gospel Acclamation:  Robert Muirhead & Hannah Muirhead
  • Gospel:  Rev Vinh Do
  • Cantor:  Greg Walker
  • Investiture with Stole and Chasuble:
    For Fr William: Rev Edward Moloney & Rev Eugene McKinnon
    For Fr Matthew: Rev James Kerr & Rev Matthew Thomas
  • Presentation of Paten & Chalice:
    For Fr William: Tracey & Grant Lowry
    For Fr Matthew: Phyllis & Emidio Restall
  • Cathedral Decor: Deneise Walsh and St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Ballarat volunteers
  • Catering: Sally Morris & family

The musicians and members of the choir performed beautifully as a result of the many hours of preparation and rehearsals prior to the event.  Thanks to all those involved in the music ministry, which contributed a large part to the excellent celebration of the Mass.

Bishop Paul’s homily invited us to give thanks for the vocations of William and Matthew and offered words of guidance to them as they begin their priestly ministry in our diocese.  The homily can be read here.

Congratulations and thank you also to the Ballarat Cathedral Parish volunteers who assisted with the evening – the choir and musicians, those whose prepared the Cathedral, those who assisted with catering for the clergy prior to Mass, welcomers, ushers, anyone who assisted in any way – your time and attendance before, after and during the Mass was very much appreciated by the Diocesan Liturgical Commission.

Following Mass all were invited to supper in the Hall, where there was an ordination cake prepared by Mrs Restall and a warm welcome from Sally Morris & family, to all those who entered.

Words of thanks from Fr Matthew and Fr William can be read here.

The Mass and celebrations that followed were a great success for the Ordinands, their family, friends, priest colleagues and all the faith-filled in attendance.

The Mass was livestreamed by Mustard Media Live Streaming:

Acknowledgement of videos and photos

Photos in the gallery below are from Andrew Vaccaro and Justin Beirouti, members of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, who graciously shared them for use in the diocese – a generous offer that is very much appreciated. Andrew also shared the videos of the Thanksgiving Masses for Fr William and Fr Matthew.

Masses of Thanksgiving were celebrated by the newly ordained priests on Saturday, July 23, 2022: 


Fr William Lowry’s Mass of Thanksgiving was held at St James’ Church Sebastopol at 9.00am.  A copy of Fr William’s Thanksgiving Mass booklet can be downloaded here.


Fr Matthew Restall’s Mass of Thanksgiving was held at St Alipius Church, Ballarat East at 11.30am.  A copy of Fr Matthew’s Thanksgiving Mass booklet can be downloaded here.

Parish Appointments

Following the celebrations of the weekend, Bishop Paul advised all members of the diocese of the priestly appointments for the newly ordained, as of August 4, 2022:

  • Fr William will join Frs John Fitzgerald and John Corrigan as Assistant Priest in the Star of the Sea Parish, South West Coast.
  • Fr Matthew will join Mgr Glynn Murphy as Assistant Priest in Saint Paul VI Parish, Wimmera-Mallee.

We wish them every blessing in their new parishes and as the newest members of the diocesan clergy.

Ordination Mass Booklets

A limited number of copies of the Ordination Mass books are available from Pastoral Ministry Office pastoralministry@ballarat.catholic.org.au or download a copy here.

Ordination Prayer Cards


















Photo gallery from the Ordination Mass