WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Clergy Celebrate Jubilees

WelCom August 2019:

The annual clergy jubilee Mass for the Archdiocese of Wellington was held on Thursday 4 July at St Patrick’s Church in Kilbirnie.

The church was filled with priests, friends, families, parishioners and Archdiocese of Wellington staff – all at Mass to support ordination anniversaries of 60, 50 or 25 years for 14 members of the clergy.

In his homily Fr Neil Vaney sm, who was celebrating his 50 years’ anniversary, spoke of the privilege of priesthood.

‘One of the achievements of a lasting marriage is to accept one’s partner as they are, loving who they are, both strengths and weaknesses, and coming to a deep acceptance and peace with oneself through the love received in return, and a sense that our life has been moulded into a unique and valuable gift to our world.

‘In a sense my life as a priest has seen God as my partner. Over many years of prayer, reflection and listening to the deepest struggles and spiritual hunger of people to whom I have ministered I have touched into the mystery of God. Some intense moments of meeting with God, hard to convey in the usual categories our words traverse, have etched their way deep into my being. Over these 50 years it seems that a benevolent Lover with gentle but demanding touch has been shaping my life and there is no other life that I desire.’

Celebrating their jubilees at St Patrick’s Church, Kilbirnie, (l-r): Fr Barry Scannell sm (25); Fr Mike Miers (25); Fr Peter Conaghan sm (60); Fr Neil Vaney sm (50); Fr Philip Cody sm (50); Fr Denis O’Hagan sm (50); Fr Patrick Dooley sm (60); Cardinal Thomas Williams (60); Fr Denis Collins (60); Fr Michael Stieller (60).
Absent: Fr Tony Williams sm (60); Fr Grahame Connolly sm (60); Fr Karaitiana Kingi sm (50); Fr Patrick Bridgman (25).