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Fr Gerard O’Dempsey OFM Cap (The Catholic Leader)

The Capuchin Friars will withdraw from two inner-city Brisbane parishes in January next year. Source: The Catholic Leader.

Fr Gerard O’Dempsey OFM Cap, Australian provincial leader of the Friars, said it was his “sad duty” to announce the decision that would affect the parishes of St Mary’s, South Brisbane and Dutton Park-West End.

“We are faced with an ever-aging group of active friars and very few new vocations entering the order,” Fr O’Dempsey said.

“Our recent ordination to the priesthood was the first in six years. Consequently, it has been necessary to take this difficult decision.”

South Brisbane parish Deacon Adam Walk said the Capuchins would be missed after nearly a decade of service in inner city Brisbane.

“I will remember their hospitality to all, parishioner and stranger alike,” Deacon Walk said. 

“Obviously, that will mean change, but parishioners (like anyone else) know that change is the only real constant in life.

“We should give thanks to God for the friars’ service to our community and pray for the Capuchins and their future endeavours here in Brisbane and the world over.”

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge said the withdrawal announcement came as no surprise. 

The Capuchins are also withdrawing from Newton parish in Adelaide.

“Like so many dioceses and religious communities in this country, their numbers are not what they were and they have had to withdraw from some of their missions,” Archbishop Coleridge said, thanking the Capuchins for their service.

“They have made a great contribution to the various communities of faith, which are quite different from each other, and they will be much missed.”

Archbishop Coleridge said the Capuchin’s withdrawal meant the archdiocese would need to “think outside the square in order to imagine new kinds of presence and new forms of mission” for inner-city Brisbane.


Capuchins to leave two inner-city Brisbane parishes (By Mark Bowling, The Catholic Leader)