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Changing of the guard


It was a time for farewells over the holiday period as a number of priests prepared to take on new appointments in various parishes around the State and a new Vicar General taking the reins.

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In the South East, the parishioners of Mount Gambier and Millicent celebrated Mass for the last time with Fr Dean Marin, who has been appointed Vicar General, and the Penola parish farewelled Fr Michael Romeo, newly-appointed parish priest of Payneham.

Late last year Archbishop Patrick O’Regan announced that after 12 years of “sterling service as either Vicar General or Apostolic Administrator’s Delegate, Fr Philip Marshall has asked to be relieved of that role”.

“I understand his request and am happy to accede to it,” Archbishop O’Regan said.

“I take this opportunity to thank Philip for the manner in which he has, unstintingly, fulfilled these roles, often under difficult circumstances, yet always with generosity, compassion and wisdom.”

Fr Dean Marin took up the role of Vicar General on January 21. He has also been given responsibility for the Archdiocese’s vocations team, a role he has held previously.

Fr Peter Zwaans will replace Fr Marin in Mount Gambier after serving as parish priest of Brooklyn Park-Richmond. Fr Romeo is replacing Fr Allan Winter who is retiring. In addition to his role as parish priest of Payneham, Archbishop O’Regan has asked Fr Romeo to take on a mission of studies to begin preparations to study for a licentiate in Canon Law.

Fr Marshall has been appointed administrator of the parishes of Murray Bridge, Murray Mallee and Mallee Border.

He said it had been a privilege to serve as Vicar General and he thanked Diocesan staff for their kindness and support. “I will hold you all in my thoughts and prayers into the future,” he said.

Fr Marin paid tribute to Fr Marshall’s leadership: “The whole diocese owes him an immense amount of thanks for carrying so much of the affairs of the Archdiocese over the past
12 years and with little time off.”

After nine years as parish priest of Mount Gambier/Millicent, he said it was “always hard to leave” and he had formed great friendships with the people who had been “amazing”. But he was also happy to be back in Adelaide where his three brothers and many of his nieces and nephews reside.

Appointed chair of the Council of Priests by Archbishop Philip Wilson and a consultor since 2011, Fr Marin said he was excited to be in the role of Vicar General at “this time of renewal” of the faith and the Church, which he believed was sorely needed.

“We can’t presume that Christian values are part of society anymore,” he said. “If we want them for our families, our children and our young people, then we have to consciously and explicitly grasp our faith.

“In Mount Gambier I started to see young families coming together, talking and leaning on each other.

“I really get the sense that families are looking for support in sharing their faith.”

Fr Marin said an important role for him as Vicar General would be pastoral care of all clergy, but especially the diocese’s international priests. He is also looking forward to renewing his involvement in vocations and supporting the current seminarians as well as promoting new vocations.

Three seminarians – James Thompson, Blake Crossley and Joshua McDermid – will undertake placements at the parishes of Mount Gambier and Millicent, Salisbury and Lefevre.

Other parishes affected by clergy appointments include Croydon Park, whose assistant priest Fr Long Hai has been made parish priest of Brooklyn Park-Richmond, and Noarlunga-Seaford and Willunga, whose assistant priest Fr Arul Dev has left to take up the position of parish priest of Penola.

The Archbishop has transferred pastoral care of the parish of Kangaroo Island from Noarlunga/ Seaford and Willunga parish to the Cathedral parish.

Fr Dominick Okwadha, previously assistant priest at Brighton and Hallett Cove, has taken up the same position at Noarlunga/Seaford and Willunga parish, replacing
Fr Prathap Katta who has moved to Brighton and Hallett Cove.

Deacon Paul Crowe has been appointed to the staff of the Cathedral parish.

Also announced in December was Fr John Vildzius’ decision to resign as assisting priest and move to lighter duties. Archbishop O’Regan thanked Fr Vildzius for stepping up in his role in the parish of Murray Bridge, Murray Mallee and Mallee Border following the death of Fr Vimalraj Antonyadimai last year.

Deacon Anthony Hill has been granted a leave of absence for two years to take up a position as chaplain at the Calvary Riverina Hospital, Wagga Wagga, NSW.


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