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An extraordinary Irish Australian priest

By: 'Ian McGinnity, The Swag' - 3rd of June 2010

John is an extraordinary Irish Australian priest now over 90 years of age. In his retirement from full-time ministry as a pastor he took up the pen in the early 1990s and has written about Fr John Joseph Therry pioneer priest of Australia; Father Tom Dunlea (founder of Boys Town in Australia); the life of Bishop David Cremin and now his own autobiography. He charts his own unique story on his departure from Ireland in 1945 to World Youth Day in Sydney in 2008. His memory is surprisingly good and along the way we not only are enlightened by his historical happenings but also get a glimpse of his spiritual journey in the interactions of his ministry (as well is a travelogue around parts of Australia!). Significant figures in Sydney Catholic Church history are given context and narrative as we travel with John. His missionary experience in Japan with other Sydney priests, so formative of him, his relationship with bishops, fellow priests and Christ's faithful as well as his self deprecating humour makes this a marvellous read. While occasionally the reader wants to know a little more about his views and opinions John doesn't shy away, in his characteristic Irish way, of naming an issue while still being charitable. (Review by Ian McGinnity, The Swag)


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