An update from the Priests Retirement Foundation

Since our last communication, the Foundation has lost two of our members, Fr Frank Hart And Fr John Ware. We ask parishes in which they served to remember these Priests in their prayers and perhaps arrange a special Mass at which parishioners can say "Thanks" for the service extended in each Parish.

Fr Des Welladsen, former PP of Echuca, has joined our ranks and we welcome him.

Fr Peter Dell'Avo, on extended sick leave, is also in our care at the request of the Bishop and in accordance with the norms of the current PRF Charter approved by the Australian Taxation Office.

Monsignor Frank Hickey celebrated his 70th Anniversary of Priestly Ordination on July 22. Congratulations. Several public gatherings to honour him have fallen foul of the Covid regulations. We hope we can gather soon to mark this special occasion.

Though he has 70 years of Priesthood, Monsignor Frank is not our oldest priest; that honour rests with Fr Owen Doyle. Owen has broken through the 97 years barrier recently but, in ordination years, is a long way behind Monsignor Frank Hickey.

At a distance in age and years of Ordination is Fr Rom Hayes;  he is now a Golden Jubilarian.

We keep all these men and the other retired priests in our thoughts and prayers.

A number of our retired priests are giving great support to the active clergy by relieving in local parishes on Sundays and special occasions. Bishp Shane has just approved the 'Policy and Protocols governing the supply provisions in the Diocese' ... a positive happening for parishes and the Foundation. 

For seventy or more years the Priests of Sandhurst had their own mutual support fund to assist when they fell sick. Like many such initiatives, it was very important at the time. Happily, things changed. Health insurance in the public sphere and more realistic internal policies within the Diocese began to provide the necessary help and assistance.

Under the revised Charter of the Foundation, provision is made for the Priests Retirement Foundation to assist all priests in difficult health situations. Consequently, the Diocesan Priests recently voted to join their fund to the PRFS and hand over administration to the Retirement Foundation.

We thank you for your past support of the Foundation. Perhaps remember the Foundation in your will. Covid permitting, the Annual Fathers' Day Collection will be taken up later this year in September. More information will be sent to Parishes in due time.

Peace and Blessings

Mons. Frank Marriott

Fr Andrew Fewings