The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Social Justice Statement for 2016-17 is titled A Place at the Table: Social justice in an ageing society. It acknowledges and celebrates the value, dignity and significant contributions of older people to the life of the community. In solidarity with all generations, older people and, therefore, retired clergy too, have a rightful place in the heart of community life.
The annual Father’s Day Appeal for Retired & Sick Clergy is a way of acknowledging the clergy who have ministered throughout the Diocese of Parramatta over a considerable number of years, but who are now in need of our assistance.
In his message for this year’s Father’s Day Appeal, the Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv, said while the Diocese is blessed to have many clergy aged over 65 still active in their diocesan ministry, it is also true that in the near future, many of them will need our support.
“Donations to the Father’s Day Appeal will help to ensure that our ‘spiritual fathers’ are cared for in their retirement. I know that you are most grateful for their dedicated ministry and that you want to see that they are properly cared for,” Bishop Vincent said.
To watch Bishop Vincent’s video message, click here.
Fr Paul Hanna is enjoying retirement after 35 years in parish ministry. Ordained to the priesthood on 17 July 1965, Fr Paul spent a significant amount of his ministry as Parish Priest at Holy Family Parish in Mount Druitt from 1980 to 2004. “Mount Druitt has a large Aboriginal population and for the past 35 years, I have been working with Indigenous Australians. I believe that ministry has been qualified by relationship,” Fr Paul said.
Retiring from parish work in 2004 due to illness, he embarked on on a seven-year postgraduate degree on social exclusion and jail systems, based on his ministry. “In retirement, you have the freedom to look at particular issues that have made up the narratives of those around you,” he explained.
To read Elizabeth McFarlane’s interview with Fr Paul Hanna in the September 2016 issue of Catholic Outlook, click here.
Please give generously to this weekend’s Father’s Day Appeal through the envelopes available at your parish or make a donation online at www.csfparra.org.au