The community of Good Shepherd parish in Hoxton Park celebrated the golden jubilee of priestly ordination of Br Patrick Hurley and Fr John de Luca on 17 July.
Fr Patrick, who prefers to be known simply as Br Pat, has been the parish priest of Good Shepherd since 2007.
Fr John has been in retirement since 2007 but is familiar to the parish as he is occasionally called on to help with Masses.
Both priests attended St Patrick’s Seminary in Manly, and were ordained together in St Mary’s Cathedral on 16 July, 1966.
Because both marriage and holy orders can be gifts from God and challenge us to reflect God’s faithful loving service, there was also an acknowledgement of several married couples celebrating significant anniversaries (some more than than 50 years), and those in consecrated life.
Sr Marie Cantwell celebrated 65 years as a professed religious in the Daughters of Charity.
Br Pat was grateful that parishioners took the time to organise the event, which included a private function for him and some of his family members the evening before at the Liverpool Catholic Club, on the precise date of his sacerdotal anniversary.
The anniversary Mass celebrated on the Sunday was a particularly beautiful and special occasion, concelebrated by several priests including Frs John Sullivan and Paul Monkerud and assisted by Deacon Paul Naggar.
As well as family members of both jubilarians, the well-wishers included people from other parishes that Br Pat has served in, like St Andrew’s in Malabar where Br Pat served for half of his 50 years as a priest.
At the conclusion of the Mass, the Jubilarians were presented with apostolic blessings from Pope Francis.
The Mass was followed by a luncheon in the parish hall, with speeches and entertainment.
The hundreds that attended were royally fed thanks to very generous donations from parishioners and the co-ordinated effort of many volunteers.
Br Pat and Fr John expressed their deepest gratitude to all who contributed to making the event all that it was.
Good Shepherd primary school and Good Samaritan College honoured Br Pat with further events, as the anniversary occurred during the school holidays.
We thank God for good priests like Br Pat and Fr John, and we pray for those who are currently discerning to take up the call to be Good Shepherds, to be
instruments of God’s real mercy.