Sandhurst celebrates Jubilarians of 2021, at last!

FrRomHayes JubilarianMass 1Fr Rom read his Homily comparing himself and Monsignor Hickey to brothers in the day’s Gospel.

Matthew 21:28-32 

Tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you

Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people, ‘What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He went and said to the first, “My boy, you go and work in the vineyard today.” He answered, “I will not go,” but afterwards thought better of it and went. The man then went and said the same thing to the second who answered, “Certainly, sir,” but did not go. Which of the two did the father’s will?’

Homily by Fr Romuald Hayes at the Sandhurst Jubilarian Mass

In the gospel today there are two brothers. They were both given a job in the vineyard.

The first, despite his reply, goes out and gets stuck into the job in the vineyard. The other says the right things but does not get stuck into the task.

It is not hard to guess who is who in this scene. Clearly Hick has the score on the board!

Today is the feast of John of the Cross. I don’t know that much about him except he was a priest and Doctor of the Church in the latter part of the 16th Century and wrote mystical poems.

He gave himself to reforming the Church – it seems it was muchly in need of reforming. He was fearless, very hard-working and shirt-fronted those who didn’t want his reforms.

Hick’s story carries many similarities, though I should add he never allowed a woman to be his boss like Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross. Though ordained well before Vatican II he took the Council changes seriously. It was said Vatican II was calling us to open the windows of the Church – let the air blow through. Hick, intent on better liturgies, reformed our Church by blowing down walls and opening up the Church.He seemed fearless when confronted with opposition. Something like John of the Cross, he was all about reforming the Church (though he is not known for his mystical poems).

Coming to that other would-be worker sent to the vineyard. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been ordained for Sandhurst Diocese. The years immediately after Vatican II were difficult – in spite of tight control from above, we pulled together. There has always been a great camaraderie in Sandhurst and for that I am most grateful.

I want to add one very important period of my life. The years in Peru would not allow me to say, “Yes, Yes Lord” and then do nothing in the vineyard to confront the injustices suffered by the people.  I am most grateful to the Columbans for giving much guidance and responsibility and friendship.
When I came home thankfully Caritas gave me a sense of being with poor and marginalised people and my thanks extends to Kerry Stone. I am still associated with Caritas for which I am grateful.

This is perhaps my last public chance of expressing my hopes for our Church.
That we give lay people a real say in the running of our Church.
And above all, we give women a proper place.

A final word in favour of retirement ...

JubilarianMass 2021 Altar 800

Bishop Leslie Tomlinson, Bishop Shane Mackinlay, Fr Romuald Hayes and Monsignor Frank Hickey at the Jubilarian Mass. 

Dominic Manatad Mons Frank Hickey 400

Monsignor Frank Hickey with Seminarian Dominic Manatad.