22 July 2012

176 years of service as Columban priests by the Baker Brothers of Australia

The Baker Brothers: Fr Pat (ordained 1962), Fr Leo (1948) and Fr Chris (1950)

Yesterday, 21 July, was the Golden Jubilee of the ordination of Fr Patrick (Pat) John Baker, the youngest of a family of five boys and three girls, from Camperdown, Victoria, Australia. Father Pat worked in Australia in the early years of his priesthood and came to the Philippines on 21 September 1972, the day Martial Law was officially declared, though it wasn't announced till two days later. He has been here most of the time since and now lives at the headquarters of the Columbans in the Philippines where he is working on the archives. He worked in a number of parishes in Mindanao and also spent some eyars in Cebu City on the college formation program of the Columbans. That was phased ut some years ago.
The photo above was taken in 2008 on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of the ordination of Father Leo and is taken from the website of the Columbans in Australia and New Zealand, as is the photo below. You can read Bakers delight on that website.
Father Leo, a gifted photographer, wrote quite a few articles for the various Columban magazines during his many years in Japan and since then. He is now retired and lives at St Columban's, Essednone, near Melbourne, where he takes delight in working in the garden there. Father Chris, a Scripture scholar, is in Peru.
The three Columban Bakers have between them served 176 years in the priesthood, an extraordinary blessing for their family, for the Columbans and for the Church. We Columbans have been blessed with a number of sets of three brothers. The Bakers are the only such from Australia and one of only two sets where all three are still living. The others are the Smyths from Straide, County Mayo, Ireland, Fr Patrick (ordained in 1969 and now in Ireland, Fr John (1962), now working with Koreans in Chicago and Fr Malachy (1966) in Ireland. All three spent many years in Korea.
I wish Father Pat and his brothers Ad multos annos! 'To many years!'

Frs Pat, Leo and Chris Baker in 1962

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