A retired priest from the Diocese of Parramatta who has a deep connection with the Blue Mountains and has written and published extensively for more than five decades, is the subject of a new book.
Titled Eugene Stockton: Blue Mountains Hermit, the book looks at the life and work of Fr Eugene who, as well as being a priest for more than 60 years, was also a teacher, Biblical scholar, theologian, Aboriginal Chaplain, archaeologist and hermit.
He was an active participant in many Blue Mountains organisations over the years, including the Blue Mountains Interfaith Group, the Blue Mountains Public Theology Group, Wellspring, as the founder of the Blue Mountain Education and Research Trust, and keen member of several meditation groups.
He has lived as a hermit since 2001 and was consecrated as such by then-Bishop Kevin Manning in 2006, living a life of contemplation and solitude in the Blue Mountains.
Retired historian William Emilsen, who edited the book with Professor Peter Smith, a former dean of medicine at UNSW, said Fr Eugene was widely loved in the Blue Mountains, but that through his contribution to many fields of study he was now becoming better known by the rest of the country.
“Eugene is a special person, a Blue Mountains treasure,” Dr Emilsen said.
“He is completely embedded within the Blue Mountains community.
“His archaeological work on Aboriginal sites in the Blue Mountains has changed the way we think about Aboriginal occupation in the Blue Mountains.
“Moreover, his writings on Australian spirituality grounded in the history and culture of Indigenous people are increasingly being recognised nationally.”
The book contains a forward by eminent historian Emeritus Professor Grace Karskens and chapters by some of Fr Eugene’s friends, colleagues and former students.
The Blue Mountain Education & Research Trust is publishing the book, which will be launched by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, on Sunday 3 December, at 2pm, at the Mid Mountains Community Centre, 9 New Street, Lawson. All are welcome to attend the launch and pick up a copy of the book.
For more enquiries, contact the trust at email@example.com.