Fr Brian to take on new challenge as he celebrates 40th anniversary
Sandy Bay parish priest Fr Brian Nichols has celebrated the 40th anniversary of his ordination as he prepares for a new challenge, as Vice Rector of Corpus Christi Seminary in Melbourne from January.
“It was a big decision to leave the parish and Hobart, but I hope to make some contribution to the wider Church and to be more involved in formation with seminarians,” Fr Nichols said.
He will continue in his long-standing role of teaching Systematic Theology at the Catholic Theological College in Melbourne.
Fr Nichols was born in Queenstown, one of three children of the late Ina and Tasman Nichols, and attended St Joseph’s School. He moved to Hobart when he was 12. The positive influences of priests Fr Edmund Roche on the West Coast and Dean Vincent Green at Sacred Heart Church, New Town, contributed to his decision to become a priest.
“It was a gradual process of discernment, but those priests made an impression on me and were very influential in my life,” he said.
He was also inspired both by the power of the liturgy to bring people closer to God and by Vatican II’s message of living the tradition of the Catholic faith in contemporary times.
Fr Nichols entered Corpus Christi seminary in Melbourne in 1974 and was ordained a priest at St Mary’s Cathedral, Hobart, on August 27, 1980, when he was 26.
He Fr Brian marked his 40th anniversary of ordination on August 26 with a Mass with 33 fellow priests, Archbishop Julian and Emeritus Archbishop Adrian Doyle at St Mary’s Cathedral, Hobart; and on August 27, when he celebrated Mass with parishioners at Holy Spirit Church, Sandy Bay.
“I look at the wonderful parish appointments that I have had: five years with Fr Chris Hope at Glenorchy; three years with the Pontifical Institute for Liturgy in Rome; three years in Bellerive; four years at Bridgewater-Brighton; three years on the staff of the seminary in Brisbane; 17 years at the Cathedral; and now six years at Sandy Bay,” Fr Nichols told Sandy Bay parishioners.
“What a privilege it has been over the past 40 years to be involved in the lives of people in their most intimate times, when people are being born, when people are dying, and in between. Those memories for me as a priest have been the most important things.
“… It is a great honour to be able to lead the people in holy worship and to give people an appreciation of the beauty of our worship and the great commission of our Catholic faith.”
Sandy Bay Parish Pastoral Council President Leigh Delaney paid tribute to Fr Nichols and congratulated him on ‘this momentous occasion’.
“Tonight we celebrate with Fr Brian the 40th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood: A path where he has expressed his priestly vocation in many fields including administration, moderator, teacher, chaplain, vocations director and consultor…” Mr Delaney said.
“His insights have challenged us to think anew about beliefs which are at the core of our being and to seek new ways of living our lives, more engaged with Christ.”