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Tag Archives: missionary

Irish priest who came to Australia by boat in 1953 turning 90

Fr Tom Keegan

“THOUGH 12,000 miles (19,300km) may divide us my thoughts will constantly fly back to the old folks at home,” Fr Tom Keegan wrote in November 1953 aboard the ship Otranto while he was steaming out to Australia from his home in Ireland. Memories from Fr Keegan’s life came back to life as his friends and family prepared for his 90th ... Read More »

Nigerian priest details his honest experiences of Brisbane parishes in first memoir

Fr Emmanuel Aguiyi

A NIGERIAN Catholic priest in Brisbane has written a heartfelt book about his experiences working in a suburban Australian church, including dealing with culture shock and bridging cultural barriers. “At times, having a foreign priest is a source of tension for some parishioners who have not done much with people from other countries, particularly Africa,” Fr Emmanuel Aguiyi, who is ... Read More »

Former refugee returns to Brisbane after a decade of ministry in Brazil

Fr Manh Le and children from Brazil

FOR the past five years Divine Word Missionaries priest Fr Manh Le has travelled between remote villages along the Amazon River, with little more than a hammock and a mosquito net. The priest, who was ordained in Brisbane 15 years ago and sent to Brazil, recently returned to Australia and is still adjusting to life. “Every night I stayed with ... Read More »

Fr Willie Lee following Pope Francis’ call to go to peripheries of society

  GROWING up in Fiji, Willie Lee admired the Irish Columban missionaries who travelled across the world to serve the people of his island home. His great-great-grandfather had accepted the first Catholic priests to his remote rural province of Vanua Levu or “Big Land”. Little did young Willie know that one day he would become a Columban missionary. “I saw ... Read More »

Rebecca Crouch called home from foreign shores for Brisbane youth conference

Rebecca Crouch

“ARE you ready?” is what Rebecca Crouch felt the Lord God ask, preceding her latest adventure in His name. “God is a God of surprises,” she said, between commitments as program director with National Evangelisation Teams, Ireland. In her 15th year with NET, the statuesque woman of faith left Brisbane in 2012 to respond to God’s question with a resounding, ... Read More »

Northern Australia’s first missionary priest remembered 170 years later

Fr Angelo Confalonieri

AT the long-abandoned British settlement in Northern Australia, a crumbling grave vault marks the resting place of an extraordinary pioneering Catholic missionary. The largely forgotten story of Father Angelo Confalonieri has come alive, after the Consulate of Italy for Queensland and the Northern Territory and the Diocese of Darwin hosted a symposium on July 12 to commemorate his life, and, ... Read More »

Queensland-born Columban Father Warren Kinne on being a priest in communist China

Chinese parishioners

COLUMBAN Father Warren Kinne knows first hand the art of “playing the game”. For two decades, Fr Kinne, 71, born and bred in Bundaberg, Queensland, was a missionary in communist China, learning to tread lightly, sometimes testing the boundaries of authority and control, and eventually watching his mission flourish in unimagined ways. Now returned to Australia, with a new mission ... Read More »

Solemnly professed Verbum Dei missionary Sr Gabi Aguilar says ‘impossibility’ not in her vocabulary

Sr Gabriela Aguilar

TESTAMENT to God’s limitless power, Gabriela Aguilar professed perpetual vows as a Verbum Dei Missionary Sister in St Stephen’s Cathedral, Brisbane. Her almost 20-year journey of discernment and preparation culminated in a Mass presided by Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, with Verbum Dei female branch General Responsible Magdalena González Santos, from Rome, and hundreds of supporters. From the Verbum Dei Brisbane ... Read More »

Missionary priest serving in Queensland called into leadership

Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament Father Joseph Thottankara

ONE of the first Indian priests from the Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament to serve in Australia has been named a provincial superior for the order. Fr Joseph Thottankara, one of two India priests invited to serve in Toowoomba in the 1980s, is the new provincial superior for the Zion province in Kerala. As the new provincial superior, Fr ... Read More »

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