CARDINAL George Pell doesn’t usually attend school openings outside his Sydney archdiocese as a rule.
But he was prepared to make an exception to that rule for old friend, Geebung parish priest Father Tim Norris.
Fr Norris joined staff, students, parents and invited guests, including Josephite Sister Margaret Cleary representing the Sisters of St Joseph, at St Kevin’s School, Geebung, for a liturgy led by Cardinal Pell before the cardinal officially blessed and opened the school’s new Pope John Paul II building on April 20.
Fr Norris, who has been parish priest at St Kevin’s since 1959, said he and Cardinal Pell had become friends through connections to the Propaganda Fide College in Rome where they both studied.
He said he was in Rome during the Pope’s silver jubilee when Archbishop Pell was being made a cardinal and he thought ‘it would be nice if I could get him (Cardinal Pell) to come and bless and open the school’s new building’.
During the liturgy Cardinal Pell said his visit was an opportunity to recognise the contribution Fr Norris had made to the parish and the school for more than 45 years.
Principal Peter Stower said Cardinal Pell’s visit was a joyful occasion for the whole school community.