Many years ago, I read the biography of the then holy father, Pope John Paul II - ‘Witness of Hope’ by George Weigel (1999). One of the things that really struck me as I read his story, was the detail about his ordination as a deacon. It was essentially a private event, taking place during the darkest days of World War II, in the private chapel of his archbishop. Prevented from celebrating this occasion in the life of the future leader of the church in grander style, the young Karol Wojtyla made do with a hand-written prayer card to mark the occasion. He chose to quote from the Magnificat to express the wonder of what Mary experienced when the angel called her and announced to her that she would be the mother of the Lord. Like Mary, Blessed John Paul knew that anything that was good in his life was the gift of the Lord Jesus. So he was able to declare this truth in three words from the Latin Vulgate translation of the scriptures, quoting from the gospel of Luke, chapter 1, verse 49: ‘fecit mihi magna’ – fecit [he has done] mihi [to me] magna [great things].
When I was in turn ordained a deacon, I chose to use this powerful quotation from scripture to express my gratitude to the Lord for all the wonderful and beautiful things that he has done in my life. So this website is a small way of helping to declare ‘fecit mihi magna’ – ‘[the mighty One] has done great things to me… and Holy is his name!’
Fr Richard Healey joined the Diocese of Wollongong at the beginning of 2005. The first five years were spent in the Nowra parish, as a seminarian, deacon and priest, being ordained deacon in December 2005 and priest in June 2006. In July 2010 he was appointed to Fairy Meadow parish as an assistant priest to the new Lumen Christi pastoral region in Wollongong, and in October 2011 as assistant priest to St Paul’s Parish, Camden. The youngest of five children (two sisters and two brothers) Richard was born in December 1968 and grew up on the far south coast of NSW on a farm north of Bega.
All his siblings are married and between them have 17 children; his parents celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 2010. After school, Richard completed a degree in economics at Sydney University (1987-89), before working in University ministry as part of a lay Catholic community (1990-93), and beginning studies in theology at St Patrick’s College, Manly (1992-95) and Good Shepherd Seminary, Homebush (1996-98). He also spent four years with the Discalced Carmelites (1999-2003) and worked in the area of media and communications for the Archdiocese of Sydney (2003-2005).
Richard looks after the Diocesan website, several other parish and national websites, has helped to prepare the Lenten Program, is chaplain to Catholic Youth Ministry in Wollongong, is a member of the Vocations Team and Vocations Director, secretary of the Council of Priests, chair of the Youth Council, a member of the Proclaim Conference organising committee and the National World Youth Day Committee. He is a regular presenter at the Summer School of Evangelisation in Bathurst. For the past six years, Richard has been very blessed by the opportunity to travel to Queensland in January to help out with initial training for NET Ministries and to be a presenter at the Ignite Conference and chaplain to four Zero Gravity camps for teenagers. Since November 2008, Richard has also published a blog and podcast of his weekly homilies, which is available on iTunes. The audio recordings of his homilies have received more than 300,000 downloads.
- Resource website: frrick.org | Blog: frrick.me
- Link to iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/frrick!/id368389914
- St Paul’s Parish: http://dow.org.au/parishes/item/camden?category_id=40
- Email: rick([ at ])frrick.org