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“The glory which thou halt given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one . – – ” John 18 22:23

“This parish is fifteen years behind. What’s going on here will be all over this diocese in ten years. The people of this parish are ignorant. They think they know the Faith but they don’t.” Father D April 1989

SUMMER OF ’89

The tall, white-haired figure in alb and stole looked de­cidedly uncomfortable amidst the uncomplicated grandeur of St. Joseph’s sanctuary. He unclipped the microphone from its stand, moved awkwardly around Dean Davy’s marble altar and launched into a long-winded whimsical yarn about the ‘new boys in town.’

It was 7.30 a.m. Mass on Sunday, 29 January 1989, the end of Fr. B’s first week on-the-job and a portent of things to come. As he moved slowly to and fro across the sanctuary, microphone in hand, the scene was more akin to Channel 9’s New Faces than a Catholic Mass; the figure more approaching a cabaret artist than a human instrument about to effect the Eucharistic miracle. My stomach tightened. I had a really bad feeling.

Within minutes, the clerical trouper articulated my worst fears.

“We’ve come to preach the Good News”, he said. And then, slowly … emphatically: “We may cause and we may provoke disturbance, pain and hurt.”

The congregation was incredulous. A few quiet groans be­trayed an air of confused apprehension. The newchurch gauntlet had been hurled into the crowd.

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