"The world looks to the priest, because it looks to Jesus! No one can see Christ; but everyone sees the priest, and through him they wish to catch a glimpse of the Lord!" - Pope Saint John Paul II
It has been a little while since Fr Bryan Hanifin retired as parish priest of the Cathedral Parish of St Joseph and his absence has been well and truly felt.
Over his six years as Parish Priest, Fr Bryan faced many challenges with the most recent being the COVID-19 crisis. His ability to navigate the rapidly changing government restrictions while still finding time to connect with parishioners through what became his very popular weekly articles (something the parish office wishes to continue) was an amazing feat.
Fr Bryan was very dedicated to his role as Parish Priest. Regardless of how early one of the administration team arrived at the office, Fr Bryan would already be working. Fr Bryan would also often be the last the leave of a day. Despite this busyness, Fr Bryan was always approachable and did his best to find the humour in things, something that has been missed since his retirement.
While we miss Fr Bryan, we are glad to hear that he is thoroughly enjoying his well-deserved retirement. In Fr Bryan's absence Fr Matthias has been working extremely hard and adapting well to his expanded role within the Parish.
In the weeks leading up to Fr Bryan's official retirement as Parish Priest, the parish office received a great number of words of congratulations, some of which can be read below.
"Congratulations on your retirement Fr Bryan. Thank you for your gentle witness to God’s great love in our College community, illuminating His word in our hearts and minds. Your sure and steadfast presence will be missed. May God bless you always, from the Students, Staff and Families of The Cathedral College."
The Cathedral College
"Wishing you all the best for your retirement, thank you for your priesthood, friendship and presence to our Parish and the Diocese. Many blessings to you, from all the Cap Coast."
Capricorn Coast Catholic Parish
"I heartily salute Father Bryan Hanifin as he enters a new phase of priestly life and ministry - eased from a range of important responsibilities. For several years he impressively carried the burden of ill health with gracious dignity. Bryan is a very talented priest whose private nature has skillfully masked his various gifts and abilities. He is remarkably hospitable, liturgically he shines with creativity and is an enviable communicator and relator. He cares pastorally with thoughtful respect. He brings a fine mind to his administrative tasks. All of the above issue from a genuine spirituality. I thank Fr Bryan for his friendship over the past fifty-six years since he entered the Seminary at Banyo where is a affectionately remembered." Monsignor John Grace - Rector at Holy Spirit Seminary
"On behalf of the St Joseph’s Wandal community, we thank Father Bryan for the spiritual, pastoral and practical support he has extended to us over the past six years. It can be said that schools are microcosms of the society in which they exist, and just like the ‘real’ world, experience periods of great joys, but also challenges and sadness at times too. Father Bryan, through his leadership, has supported our school families and staff through such times and has made an indelible impression on all those who have experienced his generosity, his listening ear or his healthy sense of humour. Father Bryan, may God reward you with abundant blessings and great joy. May your retirement be filled with fond memories and new adventures"
Kellie Jenkinson and the community of St Joseph’s Wandal
"On behalf of all in Catholic Education I offer out most heartfelt thanks and deep appreciation to you Fr Bryan for your outstanding support, leadership and wisdom shared with catholic schools over many years. Wherever you have served in Parish life across our Diocese you have been a great source of support to the Principals and Staff of the Catholic school communities. You have influence the lives of so many, our students, their families, our staff and our wider school and parish communities, sharing the Gospel message through your words and actions, We wish you every blessing as you retire as Parish Priest and know that you will always been in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you Fr Bryan."
Fr Bryan you inspired us to always be our best and do our best to serve people of the Cathedral Parish of St Joseph and for this we give you our heartfelt thanks. You will be missed.
Cathedral Parish of St Joseph Office Staff