Being an outback priest in 21st century Australia means caring for multiple communities over large distances, just as the pioneer priests of the 19th century had to do.
One of the differences is, while my predecessors travelled by horseback, increasing time restraints have led me to prefer to travel by air! Having a pilot’s license as a priest gives me the ability to be more widely and readily available for the propagation of the Catholic Faith and the administration of the Holy Sacraments both in my parishes and beyond. Besides this, the ability to fly greatly assists me in overcoming the “tyranny of distance” for the care of my own human and spiritual needs, which are indeed great in today’s theological climate.
The drawback of regularly flying a plane is of course the significant financial expense involved, which is unsustainable on a priest’s stipend alone. For this reason, I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Iria Foundation for its generous financial assistance in this regard.
The Iria Foundation has provided much needed financial support for the cost of plane hire which greatly assists my capacity to carry out my priestly ministry for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. A big thank you to the Iria Foundation!
– Fr Thomas Duncan
Parish Priest of Roma
Dean of the Western Deanery
(Diocese of Toowoomba)