On Sunday 30th of June, Parishioners, family and friends, gathered to celebrate the 25th Silver Jubilee of Fr Thomas Kessy CSSp - a favourite son of Hedland.

Fr Tom hailed from the lovely country of Tanzania where he was born in 1955 in the Diocese of Moshi. He attended Kilema and Itaga Seminary and was ordained a priest for the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans) on the 21st of May, 1994, by the Most Reverend Fortunatus Lukanima at the Holy Family Church - Arusha.

Fr Tom arrived in the Diocese of Geraldton in 2001 and took up his first appointment as an Assistant Priest at South Hedland in the Parish of St John the Baptist, which was considered very much as 'missionary territory'. He recognised that even though Australia was a 'developed country' and the work in the mission field of Hedland began more than 70 years before him, the aboriginal community still felt very oppressed and segregated and he desired very much to help them. Over the years Fr Tom's genuine caring nature helped him form some great and lasting friendships in the multicultural community of South Hedland and indeed with many around the Diocese.

Fr Tom was Parish Priest of South Hedland from 2004 - 2106. He then left for sabbatical overseas and 12 months later given a new posting in Queensland on his return to Australia. 

Fr Tom's great leadership and negotiation skills did not go unnoticed - and, while in South Hedland, he was also appointed Leader of the The Spiritans in Australia Papua New Guinea.

It was fitting that he should return to the Parish which he had served most of his Priestly life in to celebrate his 25th. The Diocese truly missed one of their favourite sons. Sadly the Bishop was in Rome at the Ad Limina with Pope Francis and was an apology and the Priests of the Diocese could not join in the celebrations due to the tyranny of distance and their own ministerial commitments, but they all wished him well.

Fr Tom was joined by his fellow Spiritans,  the current Parish Priest of South Hedland, who was incidentally once Fr Tom's understudy, Fr January Mkude CSSp, Fr Edward Khaemba CSSp the Parish Priest of Port Hedland and Fr Joseph Shio CSSp, the General Council of Spiritan Congregation in Rome, who flew in for the occasion. He was also very much surprised and overjoyed to have his sister, Felistas, fly in from San Francisco, USA, to join him for his special celebrations.

Anniversary ya furaha. Wamefanya vizuri mtumishi mwema na mwaminifu - Baba Tom

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Vision Statement

We are:

* a welcoming community which reaches out to all
* celebrating Christ's presence
* joyfully living out our Christian calling across distance and diversity

This vision states that as a Diocese, we aim to be a welcoming, missionary, centred on Christ, and each striving to live one's particular vocation. It is in living out our calling that we praise God, follow Christ, influence society and achieve the goal of eternal life won for us by Christ. In the parishes we have encouraged people to measure whatever they do against this Diocesan vision.

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Catholic Diocese
of GERALDTON
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7 Maitland Street
PO Box 46
Geraldton WA 6531

Chancery Ph: +61 8 9921 3221

Cathedral Parish Ph: +61 8 9964 1608 (diverts a/hrs)