Mediation yesterday between the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane and representatives of St Mary’s Catholic Parish South Brisbane has reached a positive outcome, with the St Mary’s community agreeing to facilitate the arrival of their new Priest, Father Ken Howell.
Chancellor of the Archdiocese, Fr Adrian Farrelly said the Archdiocese is pleased that there has been a positive agreement.
“The events of the past few months have been difficult and damaging for many people and we are pleased that we have been able to reach an agreement which acknowledges the Archbishop’s appointment of Father Howell as the administrator and the Archdiocese’s ownership of the church buildings.
“Father Howell looks forward to taking up his pastoral leadership of the parish and ensuring the parish remains an important place of worship, outreach and community,” Fr Farrelly said.
A signed agreement between the St Mary’s Community and the Archdiocese, following an independent mediation process facilitated by Ian Callinan QC, means that Fr Howell will commence at St Mary’s on Monday 20 April. Although Father Howell encouraged Micah Projects to remain located in the Parish, they have indicated it would prefer to seek alternative accommodation as from 30 June 2009.
“The agreement acknowledges Fr Howell’s appointment and puts in place a timeline which recognises the common need of the community of St Mary’s Parish and the new administrator to have a peaceful and dignified handover from Monday 20 April,” Fr Farrelly said.
Fr Farrelly said former Parish Administrator, Fr Peter Kennedy, who opted not to participate in yesterday’s mediation, remains a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Brisbane.
“Fr Kennedy will be offered support by the Archdiocese in the same way that other priests without appointments or retired priests are cared for.
“Resident Priest, Fr Terry Fitzpatrick is a priest of the Toowoomba Diocese and his ongoing ministry will be determined by the Bishop of Toowoomba.
“The Archbishop will not appoint Fr Kennedy to another pastoral appointment.”
“The Archbishop continues to ask all Catholics to pray for himself, Father Kennedy, Father Howell and the St Mary’s Parish as it enters a new chapter in its 117 year history,” Fr Farrelly said.
Released by the Catholic Communications Office
March 27, 2009