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The Good Shepherd

"Thank you...bloomin' marvellous!"

Today, we farewelled our Good Shepherd, Father Leo Donnelly. The words above are my fondest memory of him.

On 26 November 2010, Father D and his parish family celebrated the 60th anniversary of his ordination. I was privileged to document his jubilee mass with my camera, and put together an audio-visual to commemorate the event with a beautiful soundtrack by Fiona Henshaw. I dropped it in to the parish administration office a few days later.

A few weeks later, I received communion from Father D at a mass at St Agnes church. He recognised me as I took the host, and in the brief moment before the next parishioner stood before him he said, "Thank you...bloomin' marvellous!"

Today, we farewelled and celebrated our much loved pastor at what, I imagine, was the biggest funeral Port Macquarie has seen. The number of people in attendance, from our parish and across the community and region, was testament to the esteem in which Father D is held, and will always be held.

Today, it is my humble turn...

"Thank you, Father D...bloomin' marvellous!"

1 February 2019

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