St Patrick’s Mortlake parishioner Jose Teran celebrated his 100th birthday on 19 November and was honoured on the occasion by no less than Pope Francis.
Monsignor John Usher presented Jose with a special papal blessing that had been requested from Rome for the occasion.
Jose and his late wife Eva migrated to Australia from Ecuador in 1972 and they lived in the Concord area close to St Patrick’s church since they arrived.
Jose and Eva brought seven of their eight children to Australia, having previously suffered the loss of a child in Ecuador.
Jose now has 17 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
After migrating to Australia, Jose first worked in a furniture factory but then spent most of his work years as a carriage and wagon builder for NSW Railways.
But while he has cracked the century he is still an active and excellent cabinetmaker.
He also shares his birthday with granddaughter Monique, who turned 22 on the same day.
In January, his children Sylvio and Sharon are taking Jose back to Ecuador for three weeks which will be his first return trip.
A papal blessing was organised to recognise the great milestone and at the presentation parishioners wished Jose their warm congratulations on his outstanding innings.