End of era as Pallottines quit Kimberley

The last Pallottine priest left in WA's Kimberley has retired, bringing to an end over 100 years of service in the region.

The ABC reports that the last of the order to serve in the Kimberley, Fr Kevin McKelson, is retiring from his position as the campus minister at the University of Notre Dame.

University staff, students and members of the Pallottine Order attended a farewell service for Fr McKelson on the weekend.

The order's regional leader, Fr Ray Hevern, says they honoured Fr McKelson's contribution and the work of the Pallottines, who arrived in 1901.

"Well, it was a sad occasion and a joyful occasion. We're sad that the chapter closed, but we thank God and we celebrated the fact that we have been there for 105 years, in many ways that's only a step on the journey for all of us," he said.

Kimberley Bishop Christopher Saunders says the departure of the order marks the end of an era.

"They came here in 1901 and staffed most of the parishes with the exception of Kalumburu. So they've played a pivotal role, and the foundation of the church in the Kimberley's been largely built on their labour and their hard work and their faith," he said.

Catholic Pallottine Order leaves Kimberley (ABC News Online 6/7/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Australian Pallottines
A century of effort, ontributions to the study of Aboriginal ethnology and linguistics by Pallottine missionaries in North West Western Australia. (Aboriginal Catholic Ministry)

Pallottine Scholarship for Notre Dame Broome education students (CathNews 28/4/05)

High tide brings Japulu to Broome (ABC Kimberley WA 29/6/06)

7 Jul 2006