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Pastor for the people


Fr Adrian Noonan - Born: September 14 1941 | Died: August 16 2023

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Adrian was born at Crystal Brook to Jack and Gert, a brother to Bill and Des.

He studied in the seminary at Rostrevor before completing his last four years of studies in Sydney. In his breaks he hitchhiked around Australia and got to know the country, which put him in good stead for his future parishes in the vast Port Pirie Diocese.

Ordained by Bishop Bryan Gallagher on July 21 1964, Adrian arrived in Whyalla in December that year and would spend the next 54 years serving the people in each parish he was appointed.

He was assistant and parish priest at Whyalla, Port Lincoln, Cleve, Coober Pedy, Loxton, Ceduna, Streaky Bay, Cummins, Berri, Barmera and Kadina.

At Coober Pedy, where for many parishioners English was not their first language, he developed the 35-minute Mass. The only time that changed was on a Saturday night when his beloved Crows were playing and he cut it back to 25 minutes so he could get to the pub in time to watch the game.

Described as caring and compassionate, he was an influence on, and guide to many people. In his homily at Adrian’s funeral Mass Mgr Paul Quirk said Adrian knew God and lived the commandment of love in the way he approached his life as a pastor among the people to whom he ministered, whether in his spiritual life, his preaching, administering the sacraments, helping people move house or just being present and pleasant to people.

Oscar Wilde once said ‘some people cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go’; Adrian was not the latter, said Mgr Quirk.

In October 2018, Fr Adrian retired to Villa Murphy in Adelaide due to declining health where he would remain under the watchful eye of his sister Jane.

He will be dearly remembered by all who encountered and bore witness to the tireless ministry of a servant-hearted priest.

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