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- Published: Wednesday, 03 July 2019 23:12
HINDMARSH PARISH: FAREWELL TO BILL BRADY MSC
Over nine years ago, Bill Brady was appointed to Hindmarsh. He has served as parish priest and as Community Leader of the Adelaide Community. As the MSC withdraw from Hindmarsh, he is making his way to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish, Randwick.
Farewell Speech, with some memories of his ministry - with thanks to Noel Mansfield.
“A time for everything under heaven” Book of Ecclesiastes.
One of those times is a “Time to say goodbye.”
That’s why we are here tonight – my departure – farewell. I thank you for being here on such a night.
My time here, thanks to you has ben very rewarding. It’s been uplifting, edifying – I feel I have grown and that’s all thanks to you for your affirmation and support. This Parish will always have a place in my heart and memory.
When I walked in here nine and a half years ago it wasn’t as if I was walking into a vacuum. There has been 100 years of the MSC presence here long before me. All I had to do was build on that great reservoir of goodness.
Its fallen on me now to be the one who turns out the light – the last MSC Parish Priest in the Parish. Triggered by my ill health and no suitable person to replace me – the MSC Administration has withdrawn from the Parish.
This is a sadness for us all, but it is part of the sign of the times. But Gods Spirit is part of all that unfolds, and we can have every reason to feel confident in the future.
Moreover, this is a Parish that is filled with resourceful people, spirit filled people, an I’ve got no doubt they will lead you in a way which will take you to greater heights.
My time here has seen a number of major changes I might mention –
One standout one was the relocation of the Flinders Park community to Findon and the sale of the property and demolition of the Church there.
This was met with such angst and sadness for many, but it was a complex issue, and in many ways involved forces outside the Parish – such as Catholic Education taking over that land well before I arrived.
At the time of our transition I referred to it as a dying and rising and in many ways, I think this is what has eventuated. That something very good has come out of it all, to become part of Findon, new facilities, and close association with Nazareth Catholic Community.
One major benefit of it all has been the renovations of the Hindmarsh church. We have also seen a welcomed influx of people of other cultures arriving here in Findon and right across the Parish and schools. This means we can model respecting diversity at a time when this is very much a work in progress for other sections of the Australian community
Throughout my nine and a half years the reputation of the wider church has been marred by scandal and embarrassment. We’ve had the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse where our church particularly featured highly. The conviction, quite unfairly in my view, of our Archbishop for concealment of child abuse which was later overturned. And more recently the conviction for abuse itself of Cardinal Pell.
Never at any time did I feel our Parish relationship was affected by this, even though the Clergy were the ones who most came under the microscope for offences.
I’m not saying we are blaze’ about the seriousness of the crimes, but Faith is bigger than the church’s feelings.
I would like now to express my appreciation and gratitude to particular sections of the Parish. The PPC, without whom I couldn’t have achieved much. If good things have happened under my watch, you can put 99.9% down to them. I thank you for your support, wisdom and hands-on knowledge.
The Schools – all six of you. What a pleasure it has been to be in partnership with you. How lucky we are to have such leadership and staff to be leading our children into real knowledge of the heart of Christ.
The Preca Community for the generous and devoted service to the Youth Group and new arrivals. We are grateful for your formative work as well.
The two main arms of the Parish – Hindmarsh with its strong Italian contingent and Findon. You may feel I’ve given you a lot, but you have given me far more in return.
Last, but not least, my own MSC Community – when I was reduced to being here on my own and even worse when I had all my health problems – Paul, Krish, Noel and John have given valuable service to our Parish.
How do I feel about leaving? Relief was my initial response – That was because of a lot of health issues and other things at the time.
But there is a real sadness in leaving a Parish I’ve come to love, and Adelaide itself.
The Parish is being left in good hands and you can have confidence in the future.
Fr Bill Brady, MSC
19th June 2019