Fond farewell to St Paul’s parish priest

Pilbara News - - News - Alicia Per­era

A crowd of hun­dreds packed into the grounds of a Kar­ratha pri­mary school on Satur­day night to farewell beloved St Paul’s Parish priest Fa­ther Steve Casey and pay trib­ute to his 12 years of ser­vice to the com­mu­nity.

Fa­ther Casey will be leav­ing the Catholic parish for a new post­ing in Don­gara this month.

To farewell him, about 220 adults and 80 chil­dren from as far afield as Port Hed­land, Pan­na­won­ica and Perth at­tended a spe­cial mass in St Paul’s Pri­mary School hall, fol­lowed by din­ner in the court­yard.

Lo­cal pri­ests, nuns, chap­lains, school prin­ci­pals, parish­ioners and friends were among the many peo­ple who gave speeches thank­ing him for long ser­vice.

Fa­ther Casey said as much as he loved the Pil­bara, it was time for a change and he was con­fi­dent of leav­ing the parish in good hands with his suc­ces­sor, cur­rent as­sis­tant parish priest Fa­ther Bernard Balaraj.

“I am sad to leave,” he said. “Kar­ratha’s been a won­der­ful com­mu­nity and I’ve learnt so much and made many good friends and they’ve been a deep part of my life be­ing here for 12 years.”

Fa­ther Casey said “shar­ing those small fam­ily cel­e­bra­tions” with com­mu­nity mem­bers had been the high­lights of his time here.

“I don’t know that I do any­thing par­tic­u­larly dif­fer­ent from what other parishes do, it’s just be­ing a part of the life of the peo­ple who live here,” he said.

Fa­ther Balaraj said Fa­ther Casey had been an in­spi­ra­tion to him per­son­ally and many other mem­bers of the com­mu­nity, as shown by the big turnout.

“Fa­ther Steve has been such an im­por­tant per­son here. Ev­ery body loves him, from the small to the old,” he said.

Pic­ture: Alicia Per­era

St Paul's Parish as­sis­tant priest Fa­ther Bernard Balaraj and parish priest Fa­ther Steve Casey at the farewell party held at St Paul's Pri­mary School.

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