25 July, 2019 Old Michaelians

Christine Angus (OM 1967): the first female Old Michaelian to be Ordained as a Priest

We are pleased to share the wonderful news of Deacon Christine Angus (OM 1967), who will soon be Ordained as a Priest.

Christine will become the first female Old Michaelian to be Ordained as a Priest, and it was her relationship with the Community of the Sisters of the Church as a student in the 1960s which inspired her to pursue a life of service to the community.

Deacon Christine Angus (OM 1967)

Following Christine’s Ordination as a Deacon last year, Mrs Patricia Smith (OM 1952) spoke with Christine and wrote a wonderful piece about Christine’s journey which we have shared below.

Exciting news from Ballarat! Christine Angus (OM 1967) was recently Ordained as a Deacon at the Anglican Cathedral of Christ the King.

Christine arrived as a student at St Michael’s in the mid-sixties. Her initial contact with the School was through St. Peter’s Eastern Hill in East Melbourne, a picturesque city church that will be remembered by many former Boarders.

It was at St Peter’s that Christine first made contact with the Community of the Sisters of the Church who accompanied the Boarders to Sunday Mass. As a young girl of eleven seeking to understand her faith and the liturgy at St Peter’s, Christine found that the clergy, in particular, Cannon Maynard, Fr. Geoffrey Taylor, and the Sisters readily provided answers to her questions. After some heavy campaigning on her part, Christine eventually persuaded her parents that she should be at St Michael’s for the remainder of her education.

Christine recalls the Sisters as being women of wisdom and mentors of her faith journey. Believing that she possibly had a vocation to the religious life, Christine became a Companion of the Community and corresponded with the Novice Mistress Sister Joy over a number of years.

On leaving school Christine became a nurse. She envisaged that nursing would provide her with skills that would be of service to the community. However, over time, although she continued to believe that she had a vocation, she was unsure of the direction of her calling. Christine married, had two daughters, completed a Masters degree in Social Science and continued her nursing career as a Lecturer.

Throughout her working life, Christine kept in touch with the Sisters. In particular, she recalled a wonderful visit to the Mother House, St Michael’s Ham Common, in the UK ten years ago. On arrival, the Portress told Christine that most of the Sisters were away but noted that a few of the ‘older ones’ were in residence including Sister Scholastica from Australia! Sister Scholastica was the principal at St Michael's when Christine was at school, and much to Christine’s surprise Sister Scholastica remembered her very well.

Over the years Christine worshipped in a number of churches but returned as a parishioner to St. Peter’s some years ago. Following her return to St Peter’s Christine felt strongly that God was calling her to ordained ministry. Clearly, as the Anglican Church in Australia did not Ordain women until 1992, this was not a path that she could have considered while she was at school. Encouraged by the clergy and parishioners at St Peter’s to test her vocation Christine returned to University and completed a Masters in Theology. She was Ordained as a transitional Deacon on the 14 April 2018 and is now serving in parish and hospital ministry as a Curate in the Dioceses of Ballarat. God (and the Bishop) willing, Christine hopes to be Ordained as a Priest at a later date.
Mrs Patricia Smith (OM 1952)

Community members are able to attend the very special occasion of Christine’s Ordination as a Priest on Saturday 31 August, 11am at the Cathedral Church of Christ the King, 49 Lydiard Street, Ballarat.