Father Wayne Healy, a parish priest for nearly 50 years, will retire on Sunday.
His replacement is Father Freddy Parmentilla.
The young priest will be “refreshing,” says Healy.
He’s retired in a way, but Healy (pictured) has no idea that he’s sitting on his own hands for the rest of his life.
The North Otago stalwart (who spent 17 of his 50 years here) says his retirement on March 12th doesn’t mean he’s quitting the service.
Although he still works as a Catholic priest, the responsibility does not fall on the shoulders of a parish priest.
He states that he helps out on various committees, visits rest homes, and performs weddings, funerals, and baptisms.
Healy says that the people he met through his work as a priest inspired him and that his time was “richly blessed.”
He also has some unique experiences. One of the most notable examples is his first baptism of the millennium at Alexandra on January 1, 2000, just after midnight.
Highlights come from his time as pastor of St. Joseph’s School and St. Kevin’s College in Oamaru. Initially apprehensive about becoming a school pastor, he found himself inspired by the young people he worked with.
Asked how he felt about his upcoming retirement, Healy said he felt “conflicted feelings”.
Despite mixed feelings, he said he wanted to be asked, “Why did you resign?” Instead of “When are you going to quit?”
In gratitude for the kindness and goodwill of his parishioners, he said:
“Whoever we are, we are all traveling together, and our lives are not in vain if we can support each other a little.”
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https://cathnews.co.nz/2023/03/06/parish-priest-healey-retiring-otago-50-years/ Golden Service – parish priest retires after nearly 50 years