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Double celebration for a priest and his parish

It was a double celebration at St Paul the Apostle Parish, Winston Hills in March this year when the parish marked its 40th anniversary and the parish priest, Fr David Scott, celebrated 60 years as a priest.

Bishop Anthony Fisher OP was the principal celebrant at the Mass, which was concelebrated by Fr David’s brother priests including Fr Eric Burton, a close friend and fellow seminarian in their younger days.

Fr David is the middle of three brothers – Michael is the youngest and John died a week after Fr David had a stroke in October last year.

David was devoted to his parents, Jack and Gladys Scott, and the stained glass window behind the altar in St Paul the Apostle Church is dedicated to them.

He grew up in Kingsford in the parish of Daceyville. The parish priest, Fr Charles Foley, was his mentor and inspired him in his decision to enter the priesthood. Tragically, he died six months before David was ordained.

David was educated at St Michael’s Primary and what was then Marist Randwick (now Marcellin College).

He was called to his vocation before he finished school, entering St Columba’s College, Springwood after the intermediate and completing his studies at St Patrick’s Manly.

Fr David’s first brief appointment was six weeks at Katoomba. From there he went to St Therese’s, Lakemba. He served in a number of parishes in the Archdiocese until his appointment as parish priest of Winston Hills in 1970.

If you were to ask him what he was most proud of during his years in parish ministry, he would regard the years he spent at Winston Hills as the highlight. He spent 40 of his 60 years as a priest building the parish from the ground up.

Fr Roger Wynne at North Parramatta had procured the land on behalf of the Archdiocese. In 1970, Fr David was appointed the first parish priest and has been instrumental in the purchase of or construction of the church, presbytery, convent and school buildings. As well as being their pastor, he was seen by parishioners as a very good administrator.

In 1976, he went to the Holy Land and Europe with his close friends from seminary, brothers Fr Eric and Fr Kevin Burton. On this occasion he visited Villers-Bretonneux in France where his father, Jack, had been severely wounded in 1918. He went on to Rome where he celebrated Mass in St Peter’s Basilica.

His brother Michael said David was well known for his love of sport, in particular golf. For many years he had played a round every Monday at St Michael’s Golf Club.

If you asked any of the many people whose lives have connected with Fr David what stands out most, they would point to his devotion to the South Sydney football team.

On the occasion of the recent anniversaries, a common colour theme in the cards from the parish schoolchildren was red and green in tribute to his beloved Rabbitohs.

« Return to Catholic Outlook May 2010

The Lord our God is the one Lord and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, and you must love your neighbour as yourself.Mark 12:28-34

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