Dear sisters and brothers,
As I arrived for my first full day in the parish last week, it seemed that the whole nation had stopped to welcome me. It was Melbourne Cup Day. Later in the afternoon, as I wandered around the church and grounds, I came across the Foundation Stone that was laid for the commencement of the extensions of St Agatha’s Church. It was dated November 3, 1957. The Foundation Stone recorded the names of Archbishop Duhig and Monsignor English. Exactly 58 years to the day, I had been given the responsibility for the pastoral care of St Agatha’s parish by Archbishop Coleridge.
We always stand in gratitude for those who have gone before us, and we always build upon foundations laid by others. On my first weekend, I would particularly like to acknowledge the long pastoral tenure of Fr Adrian Farrelly. Fr Adrian has been a foundation stone of St Agatha’s for almost two decades, and has handed on a parish which is in fine shape. As the in-coming pastor, I would like to thank Fr Adrian for his work and dedication over many years, which is noticeable wherever you look – particularly for one like me who is newly-arrived. I am keenly aware of the pastoral service that Fr Adrian and other priests have given to this community over many generations. I pray that I might be worthy of this heritage, and work to build my own layer of foundations over the years to come.
I will leave my personal story until another time, but for now, I simply say that I am happy to be among you as your parish priest, and look forward to sharing the next six years (at least) with you. Like Fr Adrian, I have other commitments which will take me away from the parish during weekdays. I am also the Academic Dean of Holy Spirit Seminary (1 day/week), and Theological Advisor to Brisbane Catholic Education (2 days/week). I will find a weekly rhythm to all these duties by early next year, but in the meantime, I ask for your patience as I work out how best to fulfil these various responsibilities.
I look forward to getting to know your stories, and working with you to discover God’s great story which is always unfolding around us. The gospel this weekend reminds us that if we want to understand God’s big story, we need to keep an eye out for the small stories, the little things. By doing so, we realise that the foundations of everything are built upon the tiny, countless, unnoticed acts of generosity, kindness and love.
Peace and joy for the week ahead,
|Jun 15, 2016||32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – 8 November 2015||Listen||Download|