It is with great joy that I start my role as Administrator of St. Pat’s. I look forward to rekindling many friendships formed during my time here as a seminarian, deacon and for a short time as priest, having said my first Mass here. It was suggested that I write a short ‘blurb’ of my background. I suppose it is a bit like a ‘Player Profile’ before a football match that comes up on the television screen. Anyway, away we go.

I want to start by paying tribute to Mons John. A more authentic and empowering model of priestly leadership and charity you will never see, and I come to St. Pat’s with a great sense of duty and inspiration. St. Patrick’s has been blessed indeed to have him as parish priest and priest in residence for such an extended period of time.

As for me, I was born and raised in Sydney. As the youngest of seven children, I was brought up in a strong yet ever practical Catholic family. My parents, my uncle (Fr. Leo, a diocesan priest of Wollongong) and various local priests and Marist Brothers associated with my education, all influenced my decision to enter the seminary. The common characteristics found in these people of humility, tenderness of love based on Christ and genuine empathy for one’s fellow human being, drew me to them as people I have sought, and continue to seek, to emulate.

Prior to joining the seminary in 2008 I worked as a lawyer, involved mainly in commercial maritime litigation. I loved the challenging work and eclectic people I met in that field and maintain many great friendships from those days. I studied for the priesthood at the Good Shepherd Seminary in Homebush and completed my studies at the Beda College in Rome. I was ordained a priest in August 2015. I have recently been based as an assistant priest at All Saints Parish, Liverpool, a dynamic and busy parish where I have been involved in a wide variety of ministries and roles. In addition to my role here in the St Pat’s parish, I will be involved as chaplain to the NSW Police Force and chaplain to the Australian Turf Club.

I look forward to journeying with each one of you and ensuring our church is one that is open to all, welcoming and engaged with our local community. As we journey, none of us will get it right all the time – but so long as we all do our best and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, then all shall be well. This is an exciting time to be at St. Pat’s Mortlake!! Thank you for welcoming me and let’s walk on together.

Fr Tom