Bishop John Gerry, an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1975, will retire from Episcopal duties on February 11th , 2003.
For 28 years Bishop Gerry has been an integral part of the Episcopal leadership of the Archdiocese.
In that time he has been heavily involved in the administration and delivery of pastoral care to parishes, schools, and other Catholic Institutions. His bona fides in the area of welfare are well documented, as are his efforts in striving to uphold the Churches teachings and catechism.
During his tenure he has often made detailed submissions to State Government outlining the Church’s position on issues pertaining to welfare, gambling, prostitution and homosexuality.
In the 1990’s he was an integral figure in dealing with matters of sexual abuse by the clergy. As a contributor to the protocols of the “Towards Healing” program and the establishment of a code of Professionals Standards for the Provision of Pastoral Care that clergy adhere to, his legacy will endure.
Archbishop Bathersby paid tribute to the great service Bishop Gerry had rendered for more than a quarter of a century.
“Bishop Gerry has been an excellent Bishop with a deep love of people and priests, and a real passion for social justice and ecumenism,” Archbishop Bathersby said.
“The fact that he has served the Archdiocese for a year beyond his normal retirement is typical of the generosity he has shown throughout his entire priestly and Episcopal life,” he said.
Bishop Gerry was born and raised in Brisbane and educated at Mercy Convent and Marist Brothers College Rosalie.
He was ordained as a Priest in Rome on 21st December , 1950.
He then served the Archdiocese with stints as Parish Priest at Coolangatta / Burleigh Heads, St Stephen’s Cathedral, Stafford and Herston.
He was Episcopally ordained on 29th July, 1975.
At an Archdiocesan level, he has held office as Vicar General and Vicar for Social Welfare.
At a national level he has held office as the Chairman of Australian Catholic Relief (now called Caritas Australia). He has also distinguished himself with service as a member of the Social Welfare and Health Care committees of the Australian Bishops’ Conference and the Christian World Service Commission of the National Council of Churches.
Internationally he has acted as the Executive of the Federation of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania.
Bishop Gerry will be replaced as Auxiliary Bishop by Fr Joseph Oudeman, a former Capuchin friar, who most recently served the Archdiocese as Dean of Ethnic Chaplains.
Bishop-Elect Oudeman will be ordained at St Stephen’s Cathedral on Tuesday, February 11 – the very same date as Bishop Gerry’s retirement.
Released by the Catholic Communications Office