Vale Fr Peter Wood MSC

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Home > Media > News > Vale Fr Peter Wood MSC
Vale Fr Peter Wood MSC

2/5/1941 – 29/8/2018

“Among all vocations, late or early, there are some who have an easy road to ordination and there are some for whom the road is bumpy, I was one of the latter,” Fr Peter Wood MSC wrote in an article for the Tasmanian Catholic, a year after beginning his ministry in the Moonah-Lutana Parish.

Fr Peter, who went on to serve the community of St Therese of Lisieux Church in Moonah for six years, passed away in Victoria recently following a short illness.

Born in Melbourne in 1941, Fr Peter was the eldest of four boys and attended various Catholic schools before graduating from the University of Melbourne in 1965 with a degree in architecture. He would later use his skills to design the community house of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) at the Pacific Regional Seminary in Suva, Fiji.

After working as an architect in London for six years, he decided to spend a year volunteering at a Catholic school in Papua New Guinea which was administered by the MSC priests and brothers, along with the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Sisters.

The experience had a profound effect on him, and Fr Peter decided to stay for a second year and then applied to enter the seminary.

“I was influenced by the external factor of meeting priests who combined the qualities of being both strong and gentle with leading challenging and adventurous lives. I found them admirable men. The internal factor was a desire to integrate my life so that what I believed was in harmony with what I said, did and felt, hoping that priesthood might provide that for me. I joined the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart because that was the path laid out for me,” Fr Peter wrote.

Halfway through his novitiate, the Novice Master decided he was not yet ready, but said that the door was open to return at a later time if he wished.

After returning to London and then working in Zambia, Fr Peter returned to the seminary.

He made his first vows in 1978 and was ordained in his home parish church of St Bede's, Balwyn in 1981.

Fr Peter served in a variety of ministries including the minor seminary in Ulapia, Papua New Guinea, the major seminary in Fiji, AIDS ministry in both Melbourne and the Northern Territory, at Monivae College in Hamilton, Victoria and in a parish in Canberra before being appointed to Moonah-Lutana Parish.

In recent years he served as a parish supply priest in the Diocese of Ballarat.

“It is obvious that I have had an unusual career and followed a path with many ups and downs, and twists and turns. From one angle it looks unsettled and a bit of a mess, from another angle it has been interesting and challenging. But I am truly glad that it has been the way it has been and I am grateful for the way God has worked in me,” Fr Peter wrote.

Fr Peter passed away peacefully at St John of God Hospital, Geelong, Victoria on August 29 with his family present.

His Requiem Mass will be held at St Bede’s Church in Balwyn, Victoria on September 6 at 1pm.

May he rest in peace.