Diocesan priest, Fr Eugene Weber, was farewelled yesterday in a moving Pontifical Funeral Mass celebrated by Bishop Emeritus Peter Ingham at St Francis Xavier Cathedral in the presence of hundreds of Fr Eugene’s family, friends, parishioners and over 20 clergy.
It was a wonderful tribute to a much loved priest who faithfully served the people of God in the Diocese of Wollongong for almost 50 years as well as his country as a soldier during World War II.
Born on 24 November 1922 in Dulwich Hill, NSW, Fr Eugene William George Weber was the loved son of Eugene William Weber and Mary Elizabeth Weber (nee Rowlands) and brother of Sr Mary LCM (dec), Marie (dec), Regis (dec), Paul and Peter (dec).
Fr Eugene attended St Paul of the Cross Catholic Primary School, Dulwich Hill, Christian Brothers’ High School, Lewisham, and MSC Douglas Park.
He served overseas with the Second Australian Imperial Force (7th Division—in commandos, signals, HQ administration, operation and intelligence units.)
Following this, Fr Eugene worked in the NSW Railway Secretariat for some years. He also worked as a teacher in the State Education Department.
He was secretary of the Dulwich Hill ALP Branch (1947–1953) and was involved in theatrical and sporting organisations.
He was also active in the Catholic Youth Organisation (CYO), and was a member of Catholic Action groups and the St Vincent de Paul Society.
He was a Franciscan brother (Br Thomas OFM) for eight years before beginning his studies for the priesthood at Springwood and Manly in 1964. He was ordained to the diaconate in December 1969, and was then ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Wollongong by Bishop Thomas McCabe at St Paul of the Cross Catholic Church in Dulwich Hill on Friday 14 August 1970. He celebrated his first Mass in the same church at 11am the next day.
Fr Eugene served as an assistant priest in Nowra (1970), Corrimal (1971–1974), Campbelltown (1974–1975), Bulli (1975–76) and Dapto (1976–1977). He was then appointed parish priest at The Oaks (1977–1983). He also served as assistant priest at Unanderra (1984–1985) and Albion Park (1985), and then as administrator at Berkeley (1985–1988), assistant priest at Fairy Meadow (1988–1993), chaplain to Wollongong Hospital (1990) and assistant priest at Albion Park in 1993 until he retired in 1998.
“Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Mt 25:23). Requiescat in pace.
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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.