The Tasmanian community was saddened to hear of the passing of Fr Jim McMahon MSC, who died on 22 March in Sydney at the age of 86.
Fr McMahon provided a significant priestly presence in Tasmania from the late 1970s. In late 2013, as Fr McMahon approached 80, he returned to Kensington in Sydney, in order to take better care of his health.
The Catholic community in Tasmania will remember Fr McMahon as a warm and supportive priest. When he left Tasmania in 2013, Fr Paul Castley – Regional Superior of the MSC order – paid tribute to him.
“It is no exaggeration to say he has been much loved everywhere he has been for his warm humanity and sound and wise pastoral sense. He has been a pastoral treasure. He was loved and admired in Ulverstone and particularly by the community at Penguin.”
Fr McMahon was born in 1930 into a large family in Kensington, NSW. Several of his brothers studied for the priesthood, as he did, at St Mary’s Towers, Douglas Park. One of his brothers was ordained, Fr John McMahon (J.F. McMahon) who served as Provincial Superior of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart from 1966 to 1974.
After making his first vows in 1950, Fr McMahon was ordained on 21 July 1956.
As with most of the MSC priests ordained in that era, he began his ministry in education, teaching at Douglas Park and at Monivae College, Hamilton, Victoria. However, in the 1960s, he was able to broaden his ministry, working in parishes in South Australia and some time in Alice Springs and in Papua New Guinea.
Fr McMahon was buried at the MSC cemetery at Douglas Park, NSW, on 27 March 2017.