By Monsignor Anthony Randazzo
“WHEN are you going to become a priest?” These words, spoken by Fr Michael McCarthy over 30 years ago, are etched in my memory when as a youthful priest not long in the parish of Surfers Paradise he said them to me after Sunday Mass.
In the years that followed, I have come to know Fr Michael as a man of many gifts.
He has great administrative skills, he cares about people and he is a man who loves the Church.
Above all Fr Michael has impressed me as a man of God seeking to do God’s will and to offer God the glory.
As the 11th rector of the provincial seminary at Banyo, Fr Michael should also be considered the founding rector of Holy Spirit Seminary.
For it was under his vigilant care that the plan of the Queensland bishops to renew and rebuild the seminary came to fruition.
That plan included the return to the original site of the seminary at Banyo after several years’ absence.
Fr Michael had oversight of the creative design team for the innovative building complex, but more importantly, together with the team of formators, he revised and renewed the program of priestly formation in keeping with the spirit of St John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation, Pastores dabo vobis.
Fr Michael’s nomination as Bishop of Rockhampton has been a source of great joy at the seminary.
Over the past 75 years the Queensland seminary has been privileged to have 10 priests, who have either studied or taught at Banyo, become bishops. Bishop Michael McCarty is now the 11th.
He joins a small group of men who have responded generously to the call to lead the Lord’s flock from Cairns in the north to Hobart in the south.
The rector, staff and seminarians at Holy Spirit Seminary offer hearty congratulations to Bishop-elect Michael McCarthy and to the priests and people of the Diocese of Rockhampton at this time of joy.
Monsignor Anthony Randazzo is rector of Holy Spirit Seminary, Brisbane.