In DB's garden

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86 years of age, 63 for Salesian and 54 for priest


By Fr Will Matthews, SDB


Melbourne, Australia, 1 September 2017 -- A much loved priest, hardworking individual and Salesian pastor from the province of Mary Help of Christians, Australia-Pacific, FR JERRY BREEN, returned to the Lord at 7.30pm on Friday 1 September 2017, at Box Hill Hospital after a series of challenging health problems this year.


Fr Jerry was 86 years of age, and had been a professed Salesian for 63 years and a priest for 54 years.


Fr Jerry’s last post was to be in a semi-retirement at Salesian Community in Lysterfield, a 45 minutes’ drive from Melbourne. He was part of Lysterfield community since 2015. He spent most of his Salesian life as rector, teacher, parish priest and assistant in various parts of Australia.


He was a true pastor who would visit families, schools, nursing homes and cemeteries to spread God’s love and mercy. He was also a promoter of Salesian vocation inviting young men to consider Salesian life.


Fr Jerry lived out his religious life seriously. He was prepared to move from one posting to another with a suitcase. He was never interested in or attached to worldly belongings. He was known as a dedicated and hardworking Salesian who lived out a simple life style.


One of his qualities was being hospitable to all visitors. He would welcome anyone to the community to share a meal or a cuppa.


A friend and a former colleague commented that Fr Jerry was a real stirrer but always great fun and a barely hidden streak of Irish independence. He was always ready for a chat and a laugh.


Fr Jerry Breen will be farewelled with a requiem Mass at St. John Bosco Chapel in Salesian College Sunbury on Monday 11th September at 11:00 AM. The burial will take place at the Salesian cemetery in the college ground following the Eucharist.


Eternal rest grant unto Fr Jerry O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace, amen.




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