The Southern Cross : August 2012
Page 20 June 2011 Page 8 August 2012 www.thesoutherncross.org.au The Southern Cross | news When Father Brendan Connell CP, parish priest at The Monastery (Glen Osmond/ Parkside Parish) leaves for London next month to complete his PhD, there will be big shoes to fill in one of his lesser known ministries. In addition to the usual busy life of a parish priest and his chaplaincy at Mercedes College, Fr Connell has taken on a much-valued role over the past five years at St Ann’s and St Patrick’s special schools. His visits and celebration of Mass will be sorely missed according to St Ann’s Religious Education Co-ordinator Wendy Heuzenroeder. She said his “compassion, grace and eloquence” had made him “well-loved” at both school communities. “He has developed a beautiful rapport with all the students with intellectual disabilities and indeed the staff as well,” she told The Southern Cross. St Ann’s parent Amanda Tulloch-Hoskins also wanted to let Fr Connell know how much he would be missed by her daughter Asha and her family. “Mass at St Ann's was a beautiful experience for Asha and for us,” she said. “This is due in great part to Fr Brendan's presence and his joyful and loving spirit, and most of all to his respect for our beautiful children.” Fr Connell, who will be in the United Kingdom for three years is hoping that a replacement can be found. The appropriate person, be they priest, religious or lay, needs to feel comfortable with the students and be suited to this type of ministry. This may necessitate looking outside the parish in which the schools are located. “You have to be adaptable and spontaneous in the way you relate to the students,” he said. “One of the challenges is the huge range of disabilities. Some children will sit quietly while others will be more boisterous. The quieter children cope well with the ‘interruptions’ and I have learnt to follow their example. You need to be creative in order to relate the message to the children.” Fr Connell said it was important to have a strong audio and visual component to any celebrations and he praised the innovative approach of staff such as recording children’s prayers and getting them to push the play button during Mass. “All our ceremonies are inclusive,” he said, adding that families of all backgrounds have welcomed him and embraced the spiritual component of the schools. In conjunction with the school leadership, a sacramental program was begun four years ago and a number of students have received various sacraments. Fr Brendan says it is very pleasing to hear that a Diocesan Committee is now working on some guidelines for a sacramental program for children with disabilities. Wendy said that having a “student- centered focus” at the school meant that each child was valued for their own unique gifts that they share within our community. By Jenny Brinkworth When you engage in Funeral ritual, you acknowledge life passed, give meaning to life lived, encounter your sense of loss, When someone we love dies, we touch the mystery of life changing, not ending. Life changing. Signature Service . .. since 1867 Dedicated to Faith-centred Funerals (08) 8223 5879 Phone �Any time Every day 49 Wakefield Street, Adelaide 5000. www.frankjsiebert.com.au 100% South Australian family owned Proprietor & Manager B Siebert Funeral Directors Frank J Siebert and your journey of grieving. Special shoes to fill Year nine Marymount College student Keelyn Nicolle has won The Southern Cross iPad competition with her clever and thoughtful video portrayal of Living Catholic. Southern Cross editor Jenny Brinkworth presented Keelyn, who is 14, with the iPad 3 at the college’s end of term assembly. She said Keelyn showed a deep understanding of what Living Catholic means and her simple but effective technique had been praised by creative professionals. Ms Brinkworth told the assembly that with so much negative publicity about social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, it was good to demonstrate how social media could be used in a positive way through You Tube videos such as Keelyn’s. Click here to view Keelyn’s video Marymount student wins iPad By making a bequest to the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide, you can make a difference to the lives of others by supporting the good work of the Church such as: • Hospital and prison chaplaincy • Social justice • Welfare programs • Lay ministry • Conser vation of the Cathedral • Care for priests For more information about leaving a bequest, call the Bequest Officer on 8210 8223, or email firstname.lastname@example.org God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 kwp!CES10082 HIGH FIVE: Fr Brendan Connell spends time with Luke Carbone (above) and Alisha Thompson (below) during one of his visits to St Ann’s.