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Soccer, sleepout, action

Ryan Murdoch  |  23 August 2018

Children from The Gap Parish were thrilled when a new Priest joined them in a friendly soccer match. His voice was heard loud and clear; they were important.

Fr Stanley Orji had no idea he made such an impact. ‘I thought I was having more fun than anyone else. I think the way we make the world a better place is by getting out and doing what we love.’

Who is Fr Stanley? One of seven children, he grew up in a family-oriented environment in Nigeria that included extended family and the wider community.

‘Who I am today is not an accident. I am the product of the goodwill of many others in the community I was raised in.’

His biggest inspiration was his parents. ‘I may not remember some wise things my Dad said or the best homilies, or inspirational words but I remember the love of my parents.’ He believes that ‘in actions, you find most truthful revelations of the human soul’.

‘We always made a huge soup on Boxing Day and the whole neighbourhood was invited to share. It gave my mother the opportunity to give clothes, shoes and gifts to others. We weren’t wealthy, but she always found a way to give to others.’

Through that, he learned, ‘We exist for each other. We are part of each other.’

He always planned to make a difference in the world but without a big fuss. ‘Becoming a priest was something that revealed itself in time.’ As Director of Vocations, he feels ‘privileged to help people discover their inner calling’.

Participating in two ‘Vinnies sleepouts’, raising funds for the homeless, he says, more important than money is raising community consciousness that everyone deserves a home.

‘God gave this world to everyone as a home to share’, he says.

Fr Stanley believes we need to change the way we view each other, ‘to a language of love and respect’.

Just like the soccer match, rather than advise from the side lines he lets his actions do the talking.

Ryan Murdoch is from St Peter Chanel Primary, The Gap, QLD.


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