Priest's Golden Jubilee celebrated
OVER 200 people attended the Golden Jubilee Service of Father Kevin Ryan at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Gladfield yesterday.
Local parishioners and many former residents returned from the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Toowoomba to Gladfield to celebrate Father Kevin’s 50 years in the priesthood.
Father Kevin was ordained in Warwick on June 29, 1960, and the next day conducted his first service at the Gladfield church.
Returning for the service yesterday were his two alterboys from that day – Graham Ryan and Basil Nolan – along with Josie Willett who played the organ to mark the jubilee celebrations as she had done on the day he conducted his first service.
Father Kevin Ryan was raised on a property just up the road from the church and completed his schooling at Gladfield and Maryvale, before attending Downlands College.
It was while attending Downlands College that Kevin told his parents of his decision to join the priesthood.
In his speech, Cyril Ryan said when he heard Kevin would be heading off to Brisbane for nine years he could only think about losing one of their cricket players.
Father Kevin currently works with a service in Darra which caters for a mixed congregation.
In his 50 years as a priest, he has served mostly in the Toowoomba, Oakey and Kingaroy parishes.
He also worked with schools for over 20 years, along with 15 years as a chaplin in prisons and eight years working with the navy as a chaplain on troop carriers
Kevin is a regular contributor to the Catholic Leader, for which he has put together some 800 columns over the past 15 years.
Father Kevin was joined by Bishop William Morris from Toowoomba, Father Michael Carol, Father Don Murray, Father Terry Hickling and alterboy Thomas Bourke for his Golden Jubilee service at the weekend.