Lake’s Mayne man retires

Fr Mayne Murphy with, from left, Riley Glasgow, William Dillon, Tyreece Thorpe, Koden Bell, Patrick kain, Jamie Kirby and Deakin Smith

Fr Mayne Murphy with, from left, Riley Glasgow, William Dillon, Tyreece Thorpe, Koden Bell, Patrick kain, Jamie Kirby and Deakin Smith

There won’t be a dry eye in the church when Lake Cargelligo and Tullibigeal parishioners gather in the middle of the month to celebrate Fr Mayne Murphy’s last Mass as parish priest on Sunday, August 14.

On that day, the Catholic communities in the far west of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, will come together for 9.30am Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes in Lake Cargelligo, before moving on to the Sports Club at 11am for morning tea, speeches and a banquet luncheon where parishioners past and present, can look forward to reliving a quarter of a century of memories for their beloved priest.

Over that period of time, Fr Mayne has unceasingly celebrated Mass each day at Lake Cargelligo and until recently, was regularly travelling to Tullibigeal and Ranking Springs to say Mass on weekends.

The retiring priest has been a daily visitor at the local St Francis Xavier Primary School with Mass taking place every Friday.

His impact on the community over a number of years certainly has not been lost on the current school principal, Jacinta Elwin.

“St Francis Xavier School community, parents, students and staff, have been cared for and guided spiritually by Fr Mayne for many years,” she said.

“The students love him and know he is a special part of our school family, our parish family and the family of God.”

“He was always there to welcome everyone back at the beginning of each school year and each school term, praying at the end of each term for a safe holiday for us all,” Mrs Elwin said.

Fittingly, Fr Mayne’s last Mass as parish priest, will coincide with his official retirement on Monday, August 15 – the 34th anniversary of his ordination.

A late vocation to the priesthood, he spent 25 years as parish priest looking after the parishes of Our Lady of Lourdes, Lake Cargelligo and St Isidore, Tullibigeal and was known for strengthening ecumenical ties wherever he went.

Prior to taking up his appointment at Lake Cargelligo, he served as an assistant priest in Goulburn for three years and was parish priest at Adaminaby for five years.

Born and bred in Lake Cargelligo, Fr Murphy, was one of the first students to be enrolled at St Francis Xavier School, however the family left the district when he was seven years of age.

A true man of the bush, Fr Mayne was a rural surveyor for the Government of New South Wales for a number of years. To this day, he still possesses the “old school” measuring chains from the job.

“Fr Mayne really understands country people and he especially understands the uniqueness of our parish,” Sr Carmel Channon stated.

It is no secret that Fr Murphy applied for the position of parish priest at Lake Cargelligo, because of his love of the region.

“I applied to be here and have been extremely happy with my time in the Lake Cargelligo area,” he said, when reflecting on his years spent as parish priest.

Fr Mayne entered St Paul’s Seminary in Sydney as a mature age candidate in 1978. He was ordained at St Mary’s Church, Young in 1982 at the age of 52.

His priestly outreach, particularly in the Lake Cargelligo area, has been a strong one, according to parishioner and Parish Council Chairperson, Mrs Annette McFadyen.

“As a parish we have been blessed to have had Fr Mayne. He baptised my children and even celebrated the Sacrament of Marriage for one of my sons,” she said.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse, also took some time to reflect upon the retiring priest’s vocation, before also bestowing his blessing on him.

“Fr Mayne has a wonderful vocational story to tell of the Lord’s grace and call. He ‘befriended’ the silence of the Australian bush in his life as a surveyor in the outback before the priesthood.”

Upon his retirement, Fr Murphy will continue living in the Lake Cargelligo presbytery.

As of August 15, the parishes of Lake Cargelligo will come under the West Wyalong Mission, which currently has Fr Emil Milat as its parish priest.

Those wishing to attend Fr Mayne’s celebrations are encouraged to contact St Francis Xavier School on (02) 6898 1611 or by email: office.sfxlake@cg.catholic.edu.au