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Retired clergy sum up 500+ years of valuable service, celebrate fidelity to Christ


Fr Ken Keating proclaims the Gospel at the Mass for Retired Clergy from the Archdiocese of Perth on Tuesday 29 November, celebrated by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe. Photo: Jamie O’Brien

By Jamie O’Brien

“We were ordained to be like candles burning in people’s lives, dispelling the darkness, providing comfort and hope, and helping people to find their way to the Lord.

With these words, Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe last week celebrated the first annual Mass for retired priests and clergy, in addition to a shared lunch, on Tuesday, 29 November at the Pastoral Centre Chapel, Highgate.

“As we celebrate this Mass today, I want to invite you to remember all the ways in which you have been bringers of light into the lives of the people you have served and loved,” Archbishop Timothy continued.


Archbishop Timothy Costelloe proclaims him homily during Mass for Retired Clergy from across the Archdiocese of Perth, on Tuesday 29 November, at the Pastoral Centre Chapel, Highgate. Photo: Jamie O’Brien

Some eight priests from across Perth gathered for the occasion, who between them had served nearly 500 years of pastoral and liturgical service locally and overseas.

Vicar for Clergy, Fr Brian McKenna, and Clergy Liaison Officer, Brian Bonser, were also present for the occasion.

“We are called to be men of faith…and as yesterday’s Gospel reminded us, we are called to be men of hope,” Archbishop Costelloe said in commencing his homily for the occasion.

“You have allowed God to work in you and through you and like Jesus in today’s Gospel, you too should be filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, not embarrassed to recognise what God has done and continues to do for his people through you.”


Fr Laurence Murphy proclaims the first reading at the Mass for Retired Clergy from the Archdiocese of Perth on Tuesday 29 November, celebrated by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe. Photo: Jamie O’Brien

The Archbishop went on to say that the presence of the clergy (for the occasion) speaks very powerfully of their fidelity to the vocation they were given so long ago.

“One of the reasons I wanted to have this Mass, which I hope we will celebrate each year, is because fidelity is worth celebrating.

“It deserves recognition and gratitude. And so, on behalf of the people of God in this Archdiocese, and on my own behalf, I want to say “thank you”. The Church in our Archdiocese has been richly blessed, and continues to be so, by your generosity, your courage and your faith.”


Some eight retired priests from across the Archdiocese of Perth last week gathered to celebrate Mass and a shared lunch with Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe (back row, first from left), Vicar for Clergy Fr Brian McKenna (back row, first from right) and Clergy Liaison Officer Brian Bonser (back row, third from left). Photo: Jamie O’Brien

Fr Ken Keating, who is now 77 and has been retired for the past eight years after serving in the parishes of East Victoria Park, South Perth and as Chaplain to Young Christian Workers, in addition to some other parishes, said the service was a beautiful occasion in that it paid recognition to the years that the clergy have worked across the Archdiocese.

“Also remembering what Archbishop Costelloe said fidelity,” Fr Ken said.

“The Mass was a small number but very prayerful and the meal was superb,” he said.

“It was also a great occasion to catch up with my fellow priests who I perhaps wouldn’t be able to see on a regular basis.”

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