New era for St Mary's begins
Published: 3 May 2009
St Mary's church
SOUTH Brisbane's St Mary's administrator Fr Ken Howell declared a "new chapter" in the history of the 117-year-old parish at his first Mass celebrated there last Sunday.
Fr Howell, also the dean of St Stephen's Cathedral, told the 200-strong congregation at the 9am Sunday Mass that Catholics had "gathered for Mass in the area since 1865 and in this church since 1893".
In his homily given at the three weekend Masses, he also paid tribute to the faithful who had participated in celebrations at St Mary's since it began.
Fr Howell encouraged those who were uncertain of their future in the parish with the words "it is best when we stay together".
At this point Mass times will be as previously - Saturday at 6.30pm and Sunday at 9am and 5pm.
Meanwhile, canon lawyer and chancellor of the archdiocese Fr Adrian Farrelly said former administrator Fr Peter Kennedy's latest move to set up a separate congregation at the nearby Trades and Labour Council (TLC) building would have "serious consequences".
"If Fr Kennedy thinks his decision will get a tick of approval from Archbishop (John) Bathersby, and the enterprise he has started be recognised as authentically Catholic, he's mistaken," Fr Farrelly said.
"The timing of the response depends on the archbishop ... but it will be sooner rather than later in light of Fr Kennedy's latest actions."
A possible response would be the revoking of Fr Kennedy's priestly faculties - that is the permission given by the diocesan bishop, in this case the archbishop, for a priest to officiate at weddings, preach and hear confessions.
"We certainly don't leap to ex-communication as a first response - that would be like opting for amputation in the case of a small infection," he said.
"However, the removal of Fr Kennedy's priestly faculties would be still a very serious disciplinary measure."