The Cobram Anglican parish has officially welcomed Reverend Maryann Leonard, with special guest Bishop of Wangaratta John Parkes in attendance.
Rev Leonard is the incoming Cobram parish priest, who will also serve as chaplain at Cobram Anglican Grammar School.
Among those in attendance at the induction at St Margaret’s on Friday were the school’s principal, deputy principals, school leaders and staff members as well as visiting clergy and rural deans.
Rev Leonard said she was most excited and blessed to be in Cobram and was looking forward to being part of the parish, the college and the wider community.
She said her calling to the ordained ministry has been a lifelong ambition.
Rev Leonard is married to John, who served for 22 years in the Australian Defence Force and is now retired.
She has spent the past 30 years teaching in various locations across Australia, including 20 years at St Mary’s College in Seymour.
Her ministry to the Parish of Central Goulburn as an overseer and in partnership with Anglicare/The Bridge Youth Services enabled Rev Leonard and John to introduce a Breakfast in Schools program, which attracted up to 800 students per week.
It also provided advice on home budgeting and healthy eating and after-hours support to those in need.
Rev Leonard said her experiences in working with community groups and people had been vital to the success of the initiatives introduced in the Parish of Central Goulburn.
About eighteen months ago, Reverend Leonard moved to the Parish of Kilmore as a Deacon and later as an associate priest under the mentorship of Reverend Kim Benton.
Bishop Parkes also blessed the new kitchen at St Margaret’s Hall which was completed late last year, before a light lunch was served to those in attendance.