The Southern Cross : September 2012
September 2012 Page 3 www.thesoutherncross.org.au The Southern Cross news | Adelaide Archdiocese representatives will in coming months visit parishes to highlight the importance of the First Collection and a need to promote a better understanding of its purpose. REBECCA DIGIROLAMO looks at the daily duties of one of our current priests to show what this collection supports. He’s on call 24/7, is rarely on vacation and when he does take a break it’s often short- lived due to urgent work commitments. He works a solid six days, sometimes more. On his day off, he might get a few spare hours to tidy up and feed the pets. He sits on a board of finance and an appointment board. He is the head of a suburban constituency of about 12,034 people and when he retires in 2014, he is expecting to continue working as a volunteer well into his 80s. This is the job description of 73-year-old Para Hills/Modbury Parish Priest Father Peter Milburn. His role is replicated by priests across Adelaide parishes. In any given week, Fr Milburn will prepare homilies for seven Masses; officiate at funerals, baptisms, weddings, communions, confirmations; administers blessings for the sick; visits Modbury Hospital, local nursing homes and St Francis Xavier’s Regional Catholic School; and keeps the parish (one of the largest in the archdiocese) running smoothly on a day-to-day basis. “There is always something going on,” says Fr Milburn, also head of the Northern Regional Deanery. Fr Milburn will retire when he turns 75 in April 2014. He hopes to keep celebrating Mass and assisting other parish priests provided his diabetes is kept under control. “I want to continue to help out.” Like many of his peers, Fr Milburn acknowledges the importance of the First Collection but is not willing to spruik its necessity during Mass to his parish, which he says, is also under financial hardship. “We have many Indian and African refugee families who are struggling to settle down and pensioners who are doing it tough.” A priest for the past 47 years, Fr Milburn says the role has become more demanding and the workload has increased. “Life seemed to be simpler in the old days.” But he says his motivation for becoming a priest remained unchanged. “I love Mass and I love being able to help people in any way possible.” Born and raised in Adelaide, Fr Milburn, the son of a policeman, entered the seminary at 16 years of age. He has been parish priest at Para Hills/Modbury for the past seven years, and in that role is also chaplain to the nearby Modbury Hospital. He sits on the Parish Council, Parish Finance Committee and the diocesan Clergy Appointment Board. The St Vincent de Paul Society is reducing the number of its paid staff as an “unsustainable administration structure” forces it to refocus its mission on serving the poor and marginalised. The Society’s President Dominic Lagana said up to 20 full-time equivalent positions would be made redundant as part of the Society’s restructure to ensure it can continue to provide services to almost 100,000 South Australians each year. Approximately 70 people will continue to be employed by the organisation to support the efforts of the Society’s 2,500 volunteers in South Australia. Eligible employees are being asked to consider voluntary redundancy to realign the balance between paid staff and volunteers. All eligible staff will receive their full entitlements. “Our administration structure is unsustainable,” Mr Lagana said. “We need to refocus on the fundamentals, which underpin our mission and have been the driving force of the organisation since it was established in 1833 by a group of Catholic university students,” Mr Lagana said. “The Society was established on the principle of people giving freely of their time to provide direct assistance to those in need. “It is vital that the long-term future of the Society is secured for the increasing numbers of South Australians who turn to us when all other hope is lost.” Mr Lagana said the Society would do its utmost to support its staff, members and volunteers during the transition period. There would be minimal impact on the Society’s many services as a result of the restructure process which had been undertaken “methodically” over the past 12 months. ALL IN A DAY’S WORK: Para Hills/Modbury Parish priest Father Peter Milburn pictured (from left) with Charlotte Nenke (9), Emily Longo (8), Ethan Hubbard (8) and Nina Barnden (9) while saying Mass at St Francis Xavier’s Regional Catholic School. Photo: Nat Rogers Life of a parish priest Vinnies restructures administration By Jenny Brinkworth Papal envoy The Apostolic Nuncio in Australia Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto has been appointed as Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine and Apostolic Nuncio to Israel by Pope Benedict XVI. Archbishop Philip Wilson said he wished him well in his new and challenging role and thanked him for his service to the Church in Australia. A new papal envoy for Australia is yet to be appointed by Rome.