Kathryn (John’s sister) shared this reflection on behalf of John’s family.
John’s Silver Jubilee Celebration
11 December 2010
For those of you who haven’t met me, I am Kathryn, John’s little sister. It is great to be here to celebrate with John and with you all today.
I speak on behalf of John’s family and especially Con and Evelyn who are most definitely here in spirit, and would of course have loved to be here today in person to share their pride in John, with all of you.
Mum and Dad were very committed to teaching the Catholic faith to us as children.
For as long as I can remember we attended Mass regularly every Sunday, not going wasn’t even considered. I remember Con reading excerpts from my children’s Bible at bedtime, along with Banjo Paterson.
I saw from a young age the strong faith in God that my parents had and this was taught to us. They were community minded, generous and accepting, and a great team in bringing up their family to have the values that were the foundation for their own lives.
If I could say some words about the part that John played in my life as a brother.
He was, and still is someone who encourages me to think outside the square, to learn and explore new ideas or projects or see another person’s view point. John taught me this from a young age, I remember Christmas presents that were the starting point of hobbies – bread baking book, a pot with flower seeds, something to pull me forward and learn something new. John explores things and gives them a go and does them well, beekeeping, , knitting, making ginger beer, keeping pigeons, wine making, pond building, gardening and landscaping and many more that I haven’t heard about.
I remember being a Brownie and I was about 8 yrs old. I had a fancy dress day at Brownies after school one day and John offered to make me a costume. I thought I was very lucky to have such a creative brother. Out came a book on costume making that morning, and I arrived home from school to find that John had made me a huge cardboard cotton reel reaching from knees to chin and he was winding an incredible length of coloured wool around it. I manoevered myself into this outfit and my arms stuck out at funny angles and I couldn’t sit down and I thought it was fabulous. Mum hadn’t returned home in time to drive me to Brownies so on to the back of John’s bike carrier I hop – costume on and ready to go. I commend John for his bravery.
Through being a priest, and through John being John, he makes a difference to many, many families. In our own family John has been the strength that we have needed to get us through our tough times, a leader in the important ceremonies in our lives, the baptisms, funerals, the weddings, the reunions and jubilees.
John, I thank you for all you have contributed to me and to our family and your wisdom and guidance. Mum and Dad would be very proud and very fulfilled at a parenting job well done.
Congratulations John on reaching the 25year milestone and your Silver Jubilee. I hope that the next 25 are all you could wish for.