Fr. Ron’s 40th Anniversary of Priesthood


On Sunday July 4th 2010 the parish of St Andrew the Apostle celebrated the 40th anniversary of the ordination to the priesthood of Fr Ron McFarlane.

There were about 1200 people in attendance at the Mass and Fr Ron was joined by Fr Robert McGuckin VG, Fr Christopher De Souza, Fr Clifford D’Souza and Fr Dave Hume in the celebration of the Mass. The readings of the Mass were read by Father Ron’s brothers, Barry and Bernard. The choir was a combined choir from the various groups in the parish.

Picture (L to R): Fr. Dave Hume, Fr Robert McGuckin VG, Fr. Ron McFarlane, Fr. Christopher De Souza and Fr. Clifford D’Souza.

frs dave hume robert mcguckin ron mcfarlane chris de souza  clifford dsouza

After the Thanksgiving Mass almost everyone adjourned to the John Paul 11 Campus of St Andrew’s College for the celebration. One of the wonderful things about this parish of ours is that they know how to put on a party. The food was all contributed by parishioners and there was plenty of food to everybody. It was a bit crowded but everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Picture (L to R – Fr.Ron’s Family): Fr. Ron McFarlane, Bernadette (Cousin),Bernard (Brother), Felicity (Sister in-law) and Barry (Brother).

fr ron his cousin-bernadette brothers-bernard  barry  sr-in-law felicity

When the meal was completed the music Ministry in the parish put on a concert. This went on for just under two hours and was an entertaining and enjoyable way to finish the afternoon.

The whole day had been wonderfully organised by a committee of parishioners overseen by Joyce Inglis, who had spent a couple of months getting everything organised. What was really tremendous was held the whole community came together and played their part in assuring that it was a memorable day for Father Ron and for the parish.

Picture: Fr. Ron’s Anniversary Cake made by a parishioner of St. Andrew’s Felicia Silva.

fr rons anniversary cake made by felicia silva parishioner

In his homily Father Ron spoke about being a priest for 40 years and about the fact that he was still working at becoming a priest. He referred to the importance of the Mass and of the sacrament of Reconciliation. He emphasised very strongly that the priest is an ordinary person journeying with other ordinary people and how it has been the people he has worked with and for who have been his main support base. He stressed the point that all vocations are equal and mutual. He spoke about the wonderful rediscovery of Ministry in the church which has seen many changes in parish life since he was ordained and these changes are for the better. In this context he spoke about the reality that we all have a vocation from God.

Father Ron also spoke about what some people perceive as an identity crisis amongst priests. His point was that the priesthood is an objective reality which is not defined by us for it is the priesthood of Christ. He made the point that maybe at times we do not live up to the expectations of the church at times and that we might have difficulty keeping a proper balance at times.

Father Ron spoke about vocations to the priesthood. He firmly believes that many people are called to priesthood but for a whole variety of reasons they do not accept the invitation. It was also pointed out by him that there is no certainty that a person will persevere even if they believe they have a vocation. The point he was making is that to discover what God is truly asking of us we need to be prepared to step out on a limb and take some risks. To Father Ron it was worth the risk because of the incredible gifts this way of life offers.

Picture: Fr. Ron McFarlane.

fr ron preaching

By way of conclusion Fr Ron said the following:

“Certainly, if I had the opportunity to start all over again, which is a fascinating concept when you think about it, the fundamental option of accepting priesthood would still, I believe be present. To date it has been a great life, enjoyable and rewarding.

Picture: Fr. Ron McFarlane.


The challenges I see in the priesthood of the same icy for every life. They are to love each person as Jesus does; to see Jesus in the other and to be prepared to give time, attention, care and presence to them.

Finally, I once read a passage would like to share.

The more I give the more I receive.

The more I teach the more I learn.

The more I minister, the more I am ministered to.”

Picture: Fr. Ron McFarlane.

Fr. Ron-McFarlane.


40th Anniversary Celebration

Images from Fr. Ron’s 40th Anniversary Celebration.


St Andrew the Apostle Catholic Parish
40 Breakfast Rd
(PO Box 4345)
Marayong 2148 , NSW Australia

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