The Priests

The Church of St Rose of Lima has had a number of dedicated men who were given the responsibility of the Church either as Parish Priest, Administrator, Priest in Residence or in Charge.

However the Parish Priests of Amiel Joseph Sobb, Norman Grady and Paul Walsh stand out in that they all loved children, and so there were children always around for the Sacraments.

For those who knew them; these same three had infectious smiles with hearty laughs. One could see this in their eyes, they glowed when laughing; Fr Sobb’s nose with that twist to his mouth; Fr Grady’s large grin with the flutter of his eyebrows, the pulling of the earlobe and shrug of the shoulder; Fr Walsh’s glowing cheeks, sparkling eyes and that accent.

Then there was the singing, Fr Sobb had a great love for the hymns and maybe because he was of Lebanese decent, he had a great chant for the sung Latin Mass called the “Missa Cantata”, which he celebrated as often as he was able and before the Dutch Choir was around, he would lead the hymns from the Altar; at times turning around and conducting the congregation and at the same time singing so loud the church vibrated. Fr Grady liked the congregation to sing hymns during Mass so he could join in without his poor voice being heard; and of course we cannot forget that voice of Fr Walsh; he could turn the English Mass with his chanting and singing into a performance all could appreciate. Then at the Parish social functions he could not resist a burst into song in his Irish accent; wonderful!

What a combination to be thankful for.

Fathers Sobb and Grady were the ‘Builder and Managers’ of the Parish in difficult times, with Fr Walsh being there at the right time to pull the two churches together as one.

Bob Moore

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