This year the Australian and New Zealand Region of St Columbans Mission Society is celebrating the 50th anniversaries of ordination of four Australian members. They are Frs Dominic Nolan from Camberwell, Victoria, Kelvin Barrett from Wirrulla, South Australia, Noel Connolly from Gympie, Queensland and Colin McLean from Brighton, Victoria.
All four trained for the missionary priesthood at St Columban's, Sassafras, Victoria, and St Columban’s, North Turramurra, NSW, Kelvin Barrett joining the others after some years at St Francis Xavier’s Diocesan Seminary in Adelaide. All four were ordained in July, 1969 - Dominic and Colin by Archbishop Knox at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, Kelvin at St Michael’s Church, Chandada, by Bishop Bryan Gallagher of Port Pirie Diocese and Noel at St Patrick’s Church, Gympie, by Bishop Kennedy, Auxiliary Bishop of Brisbane.
Fr Dominic Nolan has spent most of his missionary life in the Philippines where he worked in parishes for many years in the Zambales area and the Diocese of Iba. This was followed by a period of vocations promotion in Queensland. Back in Manila he was involved in setting up and managing the Columban magazine, Misyon. This experience led to an appointment as manager of The Far East Office in Essendon. Returning to the Philippines in 1997, he became a member of the team at CELL, an eco-farm retreat and educational facility on the outskirts of Manila with fellow Australian, Fr Frank Carey. In more recent years a Pastoral Biblical Course in Rome has led Fr Dominic to a ministry in the area of bible studies for many groups in Manila and elsewhere.
Fr Colin McLean also began his missionary career in the Philippines, following language studies with appointments to the parishes of Morong and Malate. For a while in the latter parish he lived in a small room in a slum area. A keen interest in drama led him to organise a passion play in the streets of the parish. An appointment back to Australia in 1979 where he became a member of the Mission Education Team working with schools and justice groups followed. Again his drama skills led to the production of a Good Friday Passion Play in the streets of Northcote in Melbourne. In 1984
Fr Colin was appointed to the new Columban Mission Unit of Brazil where he has continued to live and work until today in the Diocese of Salvador.
Fr Kelvin Barrett was first appointed to Korea and after language studies, to parishes in the Diocese of Wonju. In 1974 he was appointed to the Columban Seminary at Turramurra, NSW, where he had many roles and eventually became the Vice-rector. In 1988 he travelled to Rome where he studied Missiology and wrote a thesis on Enculturation and the Process of Formation. On returning to Korea he took up positions in the area of Formation and Supervision and completed a thesis on Won Buddhism. This led to further involvement in Columban Formation and Lay Mission and Spiritual Direction. Fr Kelvin is now the Columban Leader in Perth, W.A.
Fr Noel Connolly was also appointed to Korea after ordination and also to the Diocese of Wonju after language study. A few years later he was sent to Rome to study Moral Theology. After obtaining his degree he was appointed to the seminary staff at Turramurra, NSW, and a few years later became the Rector of the seminary. He was also a part time chaplain to the Korean Catholic Community in Sydney. In 1985 he became the Columban Coordinator for Justice and Peace and then the Society’s Vicar-General for 12 years. On returning to Australia, Fr Noel became a lecturer in Mission Studies at the Catholic Institute of Sydney, the Columban Mission Institute and the Broken Bay Institute. He also served as Regional Director of the Columbans in Australia/New Zealand and currently is a member of the Facilitation Team for the 2020 Plenary Council in Australia.
We congratulate all of these Jubilarians on their years of mission and pray they be blessed with health and joy.
Listen to "Jubilarians"
- Read more from The Far East, July 2019