Fr Brendan Quirk says he is looking forward to serving Army personnel and “sharing their journey as soldiers” in his new role as an Army chaplain. Previously the Parish Priest at Arncliffe, Bexley and Rockdale, Fr Quirk was appointed to the Australian Regular Army and sworn-in at Defence Force Recruiting in Parramatta on 27 March.
His first posting will commence after Easter when he will join 2nd 14th Light-horse Cavalry at Gallipoli Barracks in Enoggera, Brisbane. He is quick to point out that, these days, despite the name of his unit, the soldiers use light-armoured vehicles not horses. Fr Quirk said his father, grandfather and great-uncles had all served in various wars and their example is an inspiration to him.
“That was an inspiration to me for sure and I get on well with people and I’m a knock-about sort of bloke. They say, they’re the sort of skills they want in the Army. It’s a bit of a change, a bit of an adventure.”
“I’ve always been someone who’s very strong on doing one’s duty. That was the example set to me by my parents and my siblings – community service and duty.”
Fr Quirk said he hopes to bring his skills and experience from serving in parishes for 25 years to his new role caring for Army personnel.
“To do my duty as a man of faith and prayer and be able to share some of that with the men and women serving in our forces and encouraging them, supporting them, guiding them, journeying with them. That’s what it’s all about whether you’re in a parish or in the army.”