Veteran migration priest turns 100
Monsignor George Crennan, who spent 46 years as National Director of Australia's Catholic Immigration Office, celebrates his 100th birthday today.
Cardinal Edward Clancy will be principal celebrant of a Mass tomorrow night in the chapel at the Convent of the Sacred Heart (Kincoppal School), Rose Bay, in Sydney.
Monsignor Crennan was born in Mount Gambier, South Australia, on 26 October 1900, and ordained in Rome in 1931 after seminary studies in Sydney and Rome. He worked in parish ministry in the Wagga Wagga diocese, before serving as National Director of the Federal Catholic Immigration Office between 1949 and 1995. He now lives in retirement at the Rose Bay Convent of the Sacred Heart.
He arranged sponsorship from within the Australian Catholic Church for thousands of refugees from various countries. He also developed, implemented, and administered interest-free travel loans for refugees and needy migrants who were not eligible for assistance from other sources.
Monsignor Crennan was a council member of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) from 1952 to 1992, and that organisation's Vice-President for 15 years. He was also the Founding National Director of Australian Catholic Relief (now Caritas Australia), Founding Member of the Superior Council of Migration (now the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees and Itinerant People), and Founding Vice-President of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (1962).