United with his surviving sister Eileen, family and close friends we come to bring the gifted, very human, welcoming and dedicated soul of Father Frank Richards to the God whom he served so faithfully in the parishes of Dalyston, South Melbourne, Preston, and Geelong. He is esteemed by all who knew him in the Catholic Family Welfare Bureau, the Catholic Family Planning Centre, and to the parishioners here who respected him as a devoted pastor, while still exercising other work in the Church from December 1972 until June 1992, when he retired to Justin Villa - since then he has known the regard of the sisters, the staff and his brother priests.
This beautiful church has been a place of worship since it was blessed and opened by Archbishop Simonds on Sunday, 7th June, 1959. Since 1927 Mass has been celebrated here. First at the Columban House across the road and since 1936 on this property.
Today is an important moment when this church becomes a permanent place of worship. The beautiful ceremonies of dedication indicate that this is truly a place set apart, where the perfect sacrifice of the Mass, the perfect worship of the Sacraments and the prayers of the faithful are united with the preaching of the Word of God to draw God's holy people to him.
Today we have the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, the gate through whom we all must pass for salvation. With Jesus as our Lord and our Shepherd we shall not want anything.
Today we pray especially that there may be an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life. May faith-filled young people respond generously to the call of Jesus to share in his work of caring for people and leading them to God.
I am delighted to return to Sunshine to formally induct Father Harry Dyer as Parish Priest of your parish. Today, the fourth Sunday of Easter, the Church celebrates the Risen Jesus as the Good Shepherd, who has come "that they may have life, and have it to the full". (John 10.10)
I invoke the help and light of the Holy Spirit upon Father Harry and upon you, his people, that together you may work to receive the life which comes from Christ. May the witness of the Risen Christ shine strongly in your local community.