Father Paul Carey SSC celebrated his Golden Jubilee of Ordination on June 29 at Holy Family Church in Como.
The occasion was also an opportunity for Perth Catholics to thank Fr Paul for his work as the chaplain of Pregnancy Assistance, which he retired from in May after 16 years in the role.
About 250 people filled the church for the Vigil Mass of Sts Simon and Paul, including a number of Perth clergy.
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB congratulated Fr Paul and thanked him for his service to the Church during his homily.
“For 50 years, Jesus has been saying each day to Fr Paul: ‘Paul, do you love me?’” he said.
“Fr Paul’s answer has been, and continues to be: ‘Lord, you know everything, you know that I love you.’
“He has remained faithful to God for 50 years because he has allowed himself to be open to God’s faithfulness to him.”
The Archbishop asked those present to reflect on the gift of ordained priesthood to the Church.
“Fr Paul, over 50 years of generous and dedicated commitment, has been a bearer of God’s mercy and compassion to others.
“We are grateful to you for this wonderful example of fidelity and commitment.”
Speaking after the Mass, Archbishop Emeritus Barry Hickey told the crowd how he and Fr Paul were contemporaries at St Charles’ Seminary.
“As a young man at the seminary he was impressive, for his spirituality, for his friendship, for his smile,” he recalled fondly.
He added that he was indebted to Fr Paul’s service to the Archdiocese and was encouraged by his “wonderful, inspiring stance on human life”.
After entering the seminary at 19, Fr Paul spent many years in the Philippines and in Korea as a missionary priest.
Several members of Perth’s Korean Catholic Community took part in Fr Paul’s Golden Jubilee Mass.
Fr Paul’s younger brother John recalled many happy memories of his priest brother.
“He was fairly athletic as a young fellow, and was a pretty fast runner which he used to practice every night running to the outside loo when the dishes had to be done,” he told the crowd.
“Paul had to work very hard to answer his calling and had to prove to dad he was genuine.”
He said his older brother’s ordination had generated great excitement and pride within the family.