Home' The Southern Cross : August 2016 Contents August 2016 Page 5
With a combined 150 years in the
priesthood, Fathers Kevin O’Loughlin,
Brian Angus and Monsignor Denis
Edwards have all travelled different paths
in their service to God but have one thing
in common – they feel “blessed and
grateful” for their vocations.
A lot has changed since the three fresh-
faced young men were ordained in
St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on July 9,
1966 – there is a bit less hair, a few more
wrinkles, however there continues to be a
shared joy of their lives as priests.
Likewise, Monsignor Robert Rice, who
celebrated his 60th anniversary milestone
on July 21, said he was thankful to be
given the opportunity over the years to be
“the best parish priest I could be”.
When Mgr Edwards decided to become a
priest he was very young and was in the
last group of 12-year-old boys accepted to
join the seminary. At the time he had little
idea about the vocation of a priest, but 50
years later described it as a “very rich and
“It’s worked for me and been good – I feel
very blessed and grateful,” Mgr Edwards
told The Southern Cross.
After being ordained Mgr Edwards was
stationed in the St Mary’s and then the
Tranmere parishes, and was then full-time
chaplain to the Young Christian Students
Movement. Archbishop Gleeson asked him
to be involved in the work of catechetics
and adult education, and he was sent to
Fordham University in the United States
to do his Masters. On his return, Mgr
Edwards worked in adult education for
11 years, helping people to “catch up”
on what had changed after Vatican II. He
completed a Doctorate at the Catholic
University of America and then taught
at the seminary, the Adelaide College
of Divinity and is now lecturing at the
Adelaide Catholic University.
“I love theology and I love thinking about
issues of faith,” he explained. “I love
making connections with people and when
students capture that spark and want to
explore their understanding of Jesus – it’s
a great moment.”
Throughout his studies he has had a
particular interest in ecological theology
and his books on this topic have received
A special Mass was held at the Tranmere
Parish to celebrate its resident priest’s 50-
year milestone and that of Fr O’Loughlin.
At 81, Fr O’Loughlin has retired as a parish
priest, but continues to work two days
a week as the Catholic chaplain at the
Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
Being able to help the hospitalised children
and their families is close to his heart as he
spent much of his childhood in and out of
the hospital environment.
Born with club feet, Fr O’Loughlin recalled
that as a child he often stayed in hospital
for many weeks when the plasters on his
legs were changed and his feet adjusted.
His father had died unexpectedly which
meant his mother was responsible for
getting him from Pinnaroo to Adelaide
for treatment – often leaving him alone at
the hospital as she needed to care for his
other five siblings.
“I have vivid memories of my Mum
leaving me behind when my plasters were
changed and of her behind the glass
window walking away and turning around
to wave goodbye. Real memories of being
lost. It was a lonely experience,”
Fr O’Loughlin recalled.
When he became a priest he always hoped
that someday he might be able to help
families at the hospital and was delighted
in 1994 to be appointed to the Lower
North Adelaide parish. This meant he was
chaplain for the WCH, as well as Memorial
Hospital and the Adelaide Clinic.
“I feel very privileged to sit with families
who are so vulnerable when they have a
sick child. I’ve been there so long now
and am so well known by the staff and the
nurses that it’s like a second home.”
Fr O’Loughlin also served in the Woodville/
Findon, Bordertown and Victor Harbor/
“I have an overriding gratitude to all the
people I have met and helped in my time
as a priest,” he said.
His comments were echoed by Fr Angus,
who has been parish priest at the Lefevre
Catholic Community since the early 2000s.
“The friendship of the parishioners, the
goodness of the parishioners and the
care that has been given to me has been
wonderful,” he said.
Over the years Fr Angus has also served in
the Mount Gambier, Seacombe Gardens,
Elizabeth South, St Mary’s and Murray
Bridge parishes. He said that while there
were always challenges and questions with
your faith, he had learnt to “put an awful
lot of trust in God and that He knows what
He is doing”.
Along the way he said he had been
influenced by many priests, but the late Fr
Owen Farrell – with his strong interest in
the arts – had left an indelible impression.
“Fr Owen really twisted my arm to go
to the opera the first time and I was
overwhelmed by the experience,” he said.
Today Fr Angus is an accredited opera
critic and spends much of his spare time
and holidays enjoying operas locally and
He returned from his latest opera-infused
holiday just in time for his anniversary
Mass and was overwhelmed and humbled
when Semaphore parishioners presented
him with a painted portrait.
And the half-century celebrations were
further enhanced when his beloved Crows
football team notched up another win later
Monsignor Robert Rice celebrates his
60-year anniversary, see page 21.
Vocations feature, from page 18.
DIFFERENT PATHS, SAME VOCATION: Hospital chaplain Fr Kevin O’Loughlin (above); theologian and author Mgr Denis
Edwards (below left); and parish priest Fr Brian Angus (below right).
Trio clocks up 150 years
By Lindy McNamara
August 2016 Page 11
Southern Cross editorial
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