Fr Anthony was born in the small country town of Canowindra in Central Western New South Wales. Canowindra’s claims to fame include being the “ballooning capital of Australia”, and having the fastest flowing inland river “when in flood”. Other than these, it meets all the requirements of being a “sleepy country town”. He is the “second in line to the throne” of five sons born to Allan and Lorna Crook. Anthony attended St Edward’s Catholic Primary School in Canowindra for Kindergarten to Year 6, and for Years 7–12 boarded at St Stanislaus’ College, Bathurst.
After boarding school, Fr Anthony enrolled at The University of New South Wales, completing a degree in psychology, and (by accident) the history and philosophy of science. He resided at Basser College and spent time on the House Committee of the Basser, including a “stint” as house president.
From 1987–2002 and 2009–2010, Fr Anthony taught mathematics and religious education, the majority of this time as the religious education coordinator or director of religious education within these schools. From 2006–2009, Fr Anthony was the dean of students at St John’s College—a residential college within The University of Sydney. He was also a foundation staff member at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Sydney campus, serving as the campus minister from 2006–2008, and since 2012 as head of Applied Psychology, and head of Chaplaincy Studies.
Upon celebrating one of those birthdays that end in “0”, Anthony was faced with two major life questions:
How best to style his hair so as to look both trendy yet dignified; and
What to do with the next 15 years of his working life.
Anthony surrendered himself to the “defence of the realm”, and in October of 2010 joined the Royal Australian Navy as a chaplain.
Before his Ordination, Fr Anthony had been ministering at the parishes of St Thomas Aquinas Bowral and St Michael’s Mittagong alongside Fr Sean Cullen. On the 15 July 2020, Bishop Brian appointed Fr Anthony as Assistant Priest to St John’s Parish, Campbelltown, under the guidance of Parish Priest Fr John Ho. Fr Anthony will continue to act in a Reserve capacity with the Royal Australian Navy and will work alongside Fr Ho and Fr Feleki Tautunu in ministering to the people of Campbelltown.
You are invited to join us in prayer for Fr Anthony as he begins his priestly ministry:
O Jesus, our great High Priest, hear our humble prayers on behalf of your priest, Father Anthony.
Give him a deep faith, a bright and firm hope, and a burning love which will ever increase during his priestly life.
In his loneliness, comfort him; in his sorrows, strengthen him; in his frustrations, point out to him that it is through suffering that the soul is purified. Show him that he is needed by the Church, he is needed by souls, he is needed for the work of redemption.
O loving Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Priests, take to your heart your sons who are close to you because of their priestly ordinations, and because of the power which they have received to carry on the work of Christ in a world which needs them so much. Be their comfort, be their joy, be their strength, and especially help them to live and to defend the ideals of consecrated celibacy.
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Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.