RESPECTED Brisbane archdiocesan priest Fr Ray Kearney died on October 29 at St Vincent’s Hospital, aged 80.
Fr Kearney was ordained in 1962 as part of the second-largest class ever to leave Pius XII Seminary, Banyo.
His first posting was to Mt Gravatt parish from 1962-64, where he learned the power of pastoral visits alongside Fr John Rosenskjar.
Fr Kearney recalled much shoe leather being worn out knocking on all the doors in the surrounding community.
He was then sent to Rome and studied philosophy at the Gregorian University.
Upon returning to Brisbane in the late 1960s he went onto staff at the Pius XII Seminary.
He resumed parish postings with an appointment to Ipswich in 1977. Then followed Darra Jindalee (1982), Booval (1983) and Sunnybank (2001).
He retired in 2007, and came to enjoy living alongside a number of fellow retired priests at an independent-living unit block in South Brisbane.
Fr Denis Long, one of his neighbours, recalled Fr Kearney as a wonderful friend.
“He was always very kind to his fellow priests and invited them round for a meal and fellowship,” Fr Long said.
“A whole group of us also played golf with him for many years.
“In terms of his pastoral touch, I was lucky to witness it because I lived in a convent within Sunnybank parish whilst doing supply ministry.
“He put great effort into the sacramental program, and he would interview all parents and try to encourage them in their faith in a gentle but a practical way.
“It was very productive because of all the parishes I’ve been to it certainly was up there for the very high number of families with children attending Mass.”
Vicar general Monsignor Peter Meneely extended condolences to Fr Kearney’s family and friends on behalf of the archdiocese.
A vigil liturgy will be held at 7pm on Monday, November 5 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 121 Mains Road, Sunnybank.
The funeral Mass for Fr Kearney will be held at 10am on Tuesday, November 6, in St Stephen’s Cathedral.
A Rite of Committal will follow at Nudgee Cemetery after the funeral Mass.