Joseph Flannery - Hobart
Fr Joseph William Flannery, a priest of the Archdiocese of Hobart, died peacefully, aged 92 years, in Sydney, on Friday last, 17th June 2011.
Joe lived at Turramurra in retirement, having been ordained some 66 years earlier by Bishop John McCarthy at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Bendigo. He was born in Bendigo, Victoria, to William and Mary Flannery, on the 9th November 1919. His siblings Maree and Edward both predeceased him and he is survived by his brother James.
He had various appointments within the Archdiocese of Hobart, including some difficult places, Tarraleah and Rosebery. He showed a lively interest in horse racing and other community events, such as football tribunal work, which sometimes won him the ire of the Archbishops of the day.
In recent years, now totally vision impaired, Joe would travel from his residence at Turramurra on Sydney’s North Shore, to St Patrick’s Church Hill, Sydney, where he would hear confessions at midday every Sunday. His routine was simple: hear confessions for about an hour, then join the Marist Fathers community at St Patrick’s for lunch (eating just a few sandwiches but never the main hot meal) then get back onto Harrington Street, to meet his prearranged taxi cab, for the trip back to Turramurra. Joe is well remembered by many at St Patrick’s Church Hill, for his compassion, kindness and wise counsel, in the Confessional and his passing is mourned by many who knew him. No doubt his own life experience and difficulties, led him to pastorally care for people at St Patrick’s, in these recent years, with real compassion and wisdom.
In 2008 he made a momentous trip (his last visit to Tasmania) from his home at Turramurra to Rosebery, on Tasmania’s west coast, to join in the Golden Jubilee celebrations of St Joseph’s School Rosebery, only to return back to Sydney that same day. Joe had been Parish Priest in this far flung mining town in the early days when life was tough and there was no school established. While unorthodox in many things, Joe is remembered for his efforts to establish a school in the tough mining town, with the help of the Sisters of St Joseph. This school still thrives today some 53 years later.
His body is being returned to Tasmania, for a Mass of Christian Burial, to be held on Wednesday 29th June at St Matthew’s Catholic Church, Pontville, where he will later be interred, in the adjoining St Matthew’s Cemetery. May he rest in peace until the day of Resurrection when the Lord will no doubt say, “Well done good and faithful servant, enter now the reward I have prepared for you.”