MASS OF THANKSGIVING
It was with a mixture of emotions that four concelebrants joined Parish Priest, Fr Paul Hart, and nearly two hundred St Mary’s parishioners gathered for 5.30pm Mass at St Mary’s on Friday 27th January 2017. They were celebrating and congratulating Fr Paul Hart on his 46 years as a member of the Diocese of Wagga Wagga NSW, and 20 years as Parish Priest of Corowa – happy and obvious reasons for a joy-filled Mass that featured real music (rather than ‘canned’) provided by Judy McNamara and Dylan Forge on guitars.
The concelebrants were from neighbouring parishes: Fr Brian Carey of Rutherglen, Fr Martin Cruickshank of Finley, Fr Joel Wallace of Albury, and retired neighbour and regular supply to St Mary’s Fr Vin Walsh from Chiltern.
But it was also a Mass that marked the retirement of Father Paul from St Mary’s – a reason why emotions at the opposite end of the joy scale were also present. Nevertheless, the thoughtful choice of Scripture Readings on the priesthood and hymns that captured the complexity of the occasion, ensured a prayerful and meaningful Mass.
All attendees of the Mass received the Mass booklet produced for the occasion as well as a special bookmark featuring a prayer for Fr Paul’s health and well-being, and his future contact details.
The Farewell Committee of Peter and Bernadette Ridge, and Brian and Cathy O’Shea, successfully included participants at different points of the Mass who clearly represented different organisations within the parish – an element that emphasised the total parish community, and the personal dimension of Fr Paul’s family members bringing forward the Offertory Gifts.
Sincere thanks are due to Fr Paul’s brother-in-law, John Egan, for the outstanding photos of both the Mass and the Dinner. You can enjoy many of them here.
The Dinner was held in the Federation Room at the RSL Club and was enjoyed by all – a dinner that can only have done the Club proud, highlighted by a delicious generous meal, and a very courteous, efficient staff.
Naturally, with Arthur Campbell confidently at the helm as em-cee, very fine speeches were delivered – all noting the many ways in which Fr Paul has served both the parish and the wider Corowa community.
The speakers were Rev Rex Everett, Rector of St John’s Anglican Church, Mrs Mary Milthorpe parishioner and teacher at St Mary’s School for more than twenty years, Mr Bernard Hart – Fr Paul’s brother, and Mr Peter Carroll who represented the Coreen Catholic Community and made a presentation of a framed photo of Coreen St Pius X church.
Fr Paul then responded, beginning with the quip that he felt so puzzled by the many compliments that he was wondering if he was ‘in the right place’. He said his years at Corowa had been very full and happy
Mary Milthorpe’s script is available here.
A word of Welcome – Mr Peter Ridge
Symbols of Priesthood presented: The Stole – Mr Paul Schnelle
Bible and Priest’s Breviary – Mr Bruce Ash
Chalice for the Precious Blood of Christ – Mr John O’Donoghue
Bread – symbol of the Eucharist and Body of Christ – Mrs Faye Brooks
Grapes – symbol of wine to become the Blood of Christ
First Reading of the Mass – Emma Christy
2nd Reading of the Mass – Mrs Annette Norman
Fr Paul reads the Gospel
Prayers of Intercession – Mrs Mary Macqueen
Prayers of Intercession – Mrs Janet McLean
Prayers of Intercession – Mrs Carmel Packer
Prayers of Intercession – Mr Paul Lemon
Offertory Procession – Adrian & Bernard Hart and Maria (Hart) Egan
The Offertory Procession Maria (Hart) Egan presents the Ciborium to Fr Paul
The Offertory Procession – family members pass Wine and Water to Fr Paul
Elevation of the Eucharist during Mass – with concelebrants (L-R Frs Brian Carey (Rutherglen), Martin Cruickshank (Finely), Vin Walsh (Chiltern), Joel Wallace (Albury)
COROWA RSL ‘FEDERATION ROOM’ FAREWELL DINNER PHOTOS
Fr Paul with Family at the RSL Farewell Dinner
Tom, Pauline, and Gerald Mulquiney cousins of Fr Paul, from Albury
Fr Paul’s brother Adrian Hart and cousin Frank Sullivan
Rev Rex Everett, Anglican Rector of St John’s Corowa, with wife Anita
Thanksgiving Mass and Farewell Dinner organizers – Brian and Cathy O’Shea
Thanksgiving Mass and Farewell Dinner organizers – Peter and Bernadette Ridge
Paul and Kate Schnelle
Russell Mitchell family – Marianne teaches at St Mary’s Primary School
Rev Stephen Fong (centre) of St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and Rev David Biddle (rt) of Corowa Baptist Church
Nicole Smith with Leanda and Tony Jones
Chris and Janet McLean
Maurice O’Donoghue with Alex & Gwen Spencer
Carmel Butts, Fr Paul, Ray Gawen
Carmel and Robert Packer
Pam and Joe Svarc
Terry Fitzgerald and daughter, Fr Brian Carey, Judy McNamara
Pat Whitty and Mary (Whitty) Milthorpe
Jan and Russell Lowden
Nell Sheridan and family members
Mrs Margaret Rhodes and …
Beverly Barron, Carmen (O’Donoghue) Hanrahan, Mary Fitzgibbon, Marie Cole
Carmen (O’Donoghue) Hanrahan, John O’Donoghue, Cathy (O’Donoghue) McKenzie, Kevin Freeman
Frank Sullivan, Graeme & Judi Garvie
Arthur and Mary Campbell
Michael and Maree Seymour
Marian Skehan, Norma Rippingale, Bruce Ash
Nicole Forge with sons Dylan and Jayden
McKenzie Clan (L-R): Cathy, Lachie, Robert, Emma, Travis
Kate and David Hanson – Elise & Roo (standing) and Nathan & Christine Sandral
Helen Bruce and Emma, Meredith, Ian and Brendan Christy
Arthur Campbell – Em-cee for the speeches
Rev. Rex Everett, Rector of St John’s, pays tribute to Fr Paul
Bernard Hart – supported by Adrian and Maria (Hart) Egan
The Hart Family – Bernard, Adrian and Maria (Hart) Egan
Mary Milthorpe speaks on behalf of St Mary’s parishioners
Mary’s speech is available here
Peter Carroll speaks on behalf of the Coreen Catholic Community
Peter Carroll makes presentation to Fr Paul of photo of Coreen Church
Fr Paul responds to the tributes
From Albury: Jenny Baker, Dot Taylor, Carmel Moloney
Mary Macqueen, Mary Tomlinson, Annette and Don Norman
Terry and Sandra Drum with Cathy Sutcliffe
(L-R) Pat Fitzgerald, Helen Bruce, Paul Ginnivan, David & Val Sloane
Denis Ratcliff, Mr R Ampt, Alida Lawrence & Tom, Diane & Robert Freyer, Pat Dwyer
Pat Fitzgerald with Fr Paul
Joyce Tuck, Jan Regan, Dan Dwyer, Jim Regan, Joan and Harry Kearney
Bruce and Irene Arnold, John and Genevieve Knobel
(L-R) Edna …, Fay Brooks, Pat Clissold, Ian Brooks, Kevin Clissold, John & Betty Knight
Leslie Hanrahan, Marie Carroll, Nora Kingston, Loretta Ward, Peg Hanrahan, Mairead Conroy
Fr Paul cutting the Farewell Cake
Brian O’Shea presenting Farewell Gifts offered by parishioners
Brian O’Shea, Fr Paul, Joe Svarc
Godspeed, farewell and enjoy retirement, Fr Paul.