Papal Honours for three Parramatta priests

18/11/2014

Papal Honours News Story
Monsignor Ron McFarlane (left), Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, Monsignor John Boyle and Fr Michael O’Callaghan. Photography: Alphonsus Fok

Three priests of the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta were conferred with Papal Honours at St Patrick’s Cathedral Parramatta on Wednesday 5 November during the Farewell Mass for Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP.

St Michael’s Baulkham Hills Parish Priest Fr Michael O’Callaghan was recognised for his generous priestly service by Pope Francis and awarded the pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (‘Cross of Honour’). In recognition of their outstanding priestly service, the Holy Father appointed St Bernadette’s Castle Hill Parish Priest Fr John Boyle and St Andrew’s Marayong Parish Priest and Chancellor of the Diocese Fr Ron McFarlane as Chaplains to His Holiness, bestowing upon both men the title of Monsignor.

Fr Michael O’Callaghan

Fr O’Callaghan was born in 1942 and holds degrees in Accountancy, Theology and Counselling.

As a Carmelite he trained for the priesthood at Yarra Theological Union and St Paul’s National Seminary, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1976. He served as Vocations and Youth Director, Prior and Parish Priest.

In 1987, he joined the Diocese of Parramatta and served in the parishes of Seven Hills, Leura, Richmond and Baulkham Hills. He has also been a regional dean, member of the Council of Priests, Consultor and Episcopal Vicar for Clergy.

Monsignor John Boyle

Monsignor Boyle was born in 1945, attended Parramatta Marist, St Columba’s Seminary Springwood and St Patrick’s Seminary Manly.

He obtained a Masters Degree in Theology and was ordained to the priesthood in 1971 by Cardinal Gilroy. Since then he has served in the parishes of Gymea, Darlinghurst, The Entrance, Haberfield, Ryde, Castle Hill, Westmead, Parramatta, Seven Hills and, again, Castle Hill. Since 1984, he has been a Chaplain of the Royal Australian Air Force.

As Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral from 1991 to 2000, he spearheaded its reconstruction after it was burned down. He has been a member of the Council of Priests, Consultor, regional dean and Episcopal Vicar for Chaplaincies and Pastoral Associates.

Monsignor Ron McFarlane

Monsignor McFarlane was also born in 1945. He entered St Columba’s Seminary Seminary in 1964 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1970 by Cardinal Knox. He joined the Archdiocese of Sydney (and at its separation the Diocese of Parramatta), serving in the parishes of Ryde, Concord, Berala, Kingsgrove, Belmore, Toongabbie, North Rocks, Katoomba and, for many years now, Marayong.

He has also been a chaplain to the Solo Parents’ Ministry, regional dean, member of the Council of Priests, Consultor, Pastoral Director of the Seminary, Episcopal Vicar for Clergy, and a member of several diocesan committees. He is currently Chancellor of the Diocese.

During the Farewell Mass, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP also thanked Fr Arthur Bridge AM and the Honours Committee for their assistance in the Papal Awards conferred that night and all the previous awards.

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