New deacon in the Wilcannia-Forbes diocese

Hundreds have gathered in St Laurence's Catholic Church, Forbes to celebrate the ordination of a new deacon for the district.

Reverend Getulio Neto will now work in the Wilcannia-Forbes diocese as he prepares for his ordination as a priest.

The Brazilian-born deacon has shared some of the journey that has brought him to the vast western NSW diocese.

It began years ago with a couple of conversations: a friend led him to consider God's place in his life, a priest asked him if he had ever considered the priesthood.

From that question, Reverend Getulio embarked on a three-year journey of speaking with priests, studying the scriptures and prayer.

But when he was working with people displaced by devastating 2010 mudslides in Rio, he realised it was indeed where his calling lay.

Some 2000 people died in the tragedy, 300 of them parishioners in the parish where he was working.

Forty of those were children preparing for their first holy communion.

In the wake of the tragedy, Getulio went with the priest to help look after those who had lost everything, who had been placed in public schools for shelter.

Handing out clothing bundles and serving food, he found his place.

"I couldn't think of anything more than to serve them and in that service I found purpose, and also found my vocation," Reverend Getulio said. "The priesthood is this ... to live for others."

From the moment he made that decision, he could have ended up anywhere in the world.

His name, along with 374 others, was placed in a basket. Another basket held 78 locations where the candidates for priesthood could go.

That Getulio from Brazil was drawn out along with Sydney, Australia could be considered random, or divine.

He's now completed six years of study in philosophy and theology to prepare for ministry, in Sydney as well as travelling, and was welcomed to Wilcannia- Forbes diocese in 2018.

It's a long way from his home, and while worshippers filled St Laurence's for the occasion his family watched online in Brazil.

Rev Getulio will now work alongside a priest, initially Father Barry Dwyer in Parkes, until he is prepared for his own ordination into the priesthood.

He'll also be working in the diocese's more remote western communities.

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