Homily for Father Aeneas Francis (Hugh) Delaney

Father Aeneas Francis (Hugh) Delaney died on the morning of September 2nd 2014 after a short illness.

Father Delaney was born in Bathurst 7th March 1926. He was the youngest son of Michael and Catherine (nee Hennessy) Delaney. He was predeceased by three brothers, Joseph, Leo and James and four sisters Mary Fish, Monica Schiller, Joan Williams and Ellen Agland.  

Father Delaney was educated in Bathurst at St Mary’s School, then St Patrick’s School and completed his secondary schooling at St Stanislaus’ College. He trained as a teacher at Sydney Teachers College, working for several years for the NSW State Education Department.

Father Delaney then entered St Columba’s College Springwood to study for the priesthood, he completed his studies at St Patrick’s College, Manly. Bishop John Norton ordained him a priest for the Bathurst Diocese on 30th July 1955 in the Cathedral of St Michael and St John.

Father Delaney served as a priest in Bathurst, Orange, Cowra, Mudgee and Canowindra. He was Inspector  of Schools for seven years and worked with the Movement for Better World for several years. During his time as Inspector of Schools Father Delaney led the Diocese in responding to the demands of the new Wyndem Scheme. In response to this he led the formation of the Diocesan Catholic Girls High School (now Mackillop College, Bathurst) bringing together St Mary’s College and St Joseph’s College Perthville to be staffed jointly by the Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of St Joseph. The outstanding success of the milestone in Catholic Education in the Diocese was a model for future planning of education in the Diocese.

Bishop Dougherty appointed Father Delaney as full-time Vicar General in 1993. Bishop McKenna reappointed him as Vicar General in 2009, a position he held until his retirement in 2011. Bishop McKenna said that:

“Father Aeneas (Hugh) Delaney was a priest of the Diocese of Bathurst for almost 60 years. He lived out the promises of his sacred calling with fidelity and vigour. Those six decades have been a time of enormous changes, for good and ill, in the life of the Church. Hugh was not a spectator, but a driver of change for the better: in Catholic education, in promoting the role of women and the laity, and in new forms of Christian prayer. He was always a friend of the poor. I will miss his wise counsel and unwavering support.”

May he rest in peace.

Read the Homily given by Bishop Michael McKenna here.

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