Hospital community says farewell and thanks to Fr Luke Rawlings OP
|The Catholic Team and friends at Westmead Hospital will miss Fr Luke (far left)|
By Joy Bowen, Catholic Outlook, December 2010
There are times in our lives when we need to mark an ending, keeping in mind that endings can be a time of new beginnings. Now is such a time for the community of Westmead Hospital’s Pastoral Care Department, especially the Catholic team.
The full-time Catholic team at Westmead Hospital currently consists of Fr Michael Gimena, Fr Nilo Deligero, Fr Luke Rawlings OP, Ms Joy Bowen and Sr Judy Dynan FMM.
Recently, there have been a few “comings and goings”. Fr Jojo Eloja who had been in ministry here for eight years has moved on to Cumberland and Mt Druitt, and Fr Luke who has been at Westmead Hospital for 15 years is also leaving.
Fr Luke has been a great asset to the people at Westmead Hospital. In the small hours, he is often found wandering the corridors, being with people and ministering to them. He knows so many folk that it often takes him 30 minutes to get out of the doors.
Everyone knows and respects him. From the ward clerks, the cleaners, the kitchen staff, the ‘vollies’, nurses, medical staff, patients, families and those who gather on a Sunday for Mass in the hospital chapel.
Fr Luke was born in Adelaide and attended the Dominican Blackfriars Priory School in Prospect. He joined the Dominicans in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1969. Fr Luke studied in Melbourne and worked in parishes at Watson, Canberra and Wahroonga. He was Parish Priest at Holy Name, Wahroonga, and for a time his Assistant Priest was a young Fr Anthony Fisher OP.
Fr Luke worked with the poor in the inner city and helped to establish drop-in centres in Chippendale and Liverpool. He has maintained a strong commitment to social justice and peace issues and has been the Dominican Promoter of Justice and Peace in the province for many years, producing their newsletter.
The Diocese of Parramatta, Westmead Hospital’s Pastoral Care Department, Fr Luke’s friends, the Marist Brothers and the Westmead Hospital community at large is grateful for the time, energy, love, friendship, ministry and commitment Fr Luke has given and we wish him all the very best in his future plans.If you would like to be a part of Fr Luke’s farewell please contact Joy Bowen tel (02) 9845 6037. Mass will be celebrated at 11.15am on 12 December 2010 in Westmead Hospital’s Chapel. This will be followed by light refreshments.
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