Fr Richard Healey is the youngest of five children (two sisters and two brothers) and grew up on the far south coast of NSW on a farm north of Bega. Fr Rick joined the Diocese of Wollongong at the beginning of 2005. The first five years were spent in the Nowra parish, as a seminarian, deacon and priest, being ordained deacon on 3 December 2005 and priest on 24 June 2006. In July 2010 he was appointed to Fairy Meadow parish as an assistant pastor to the new Lumen Christi pastoral region in Wollongong, and in October 2011 as assistant pastor to St Paul’s Parish, Camden. In February 2015, he was appointed as the ‘priest-in-charge’ of St Columbkille’s Parish in Corrimal. On 1 September 2015, he became Pastor of St Paul’s Parish in Albion Park, until his resignation in April 2019. All his siblings are married and between them have 17 children and 5 grandchildren; his parents celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary in 2020.
After school, Richard completed a degree in economics at Sydney University (1987-89) with a triple major in economics, accounting and commercial law, before working in University ministry as part of the Disciples of Jesus Community – a lay Catholic community (1990-93), and beginning studies in theology at St Patrick’s College, Manly (1992-95) and Good Shepherd Seminary, Homebush (1996-98). He completed a Bachelor of Theology, Masters of Theology and Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology during this time.
He continued to work in the area of evangelisation and youth ministry during his seminary formation, as part of the Communauté de l’Emmanuel, which included opportunities to take part in street evangelisation in cities like Rome, Paris, Brussels, London and Dublin. He also spent more than four years with the Discalced Carmelites (1999-2003) and worked in the area of media and communications for the Archdiocese of Sydney (2003-2005). During his time in the Diocese of Wollongong, Rick has helped with the Diocesan website, several other church websites, has helped to prepare the Lenten and Advent Programs, was chaplain to Catholic Youth Ministry in Wollongong, chair of the Youth Council, Vocations Director and a member of the Vocations Team and was a member of the Proclaim Conference organising committee (2011-2015).
From 2007 – 2013 he was also secretary of the Wollongong Diocese Council of Priests, and a member of the National World Youth Day Committee from 2009-2013. Since 1992 he has been a regular presenter at the Summer School of Evangelisation in Bathurst, and since 2008, Rick has been very blessed by the opportunity to travel to Queensland in January to help out with initial training for NET Ministries and to be a presenter at Ignite Conference since 2006 and chaplain to Ignite Summer Camps for teenagers from 2011-2018.
Since November 2008, Rick has also published a blog and podcast of his weekly homilies, which is available on iTunes. The audio recordings of his homilies have received around a million downloads. He also publishes liturgical resources, especially to be used on tablets such as the Roman eMissal and Australian eLectionary (with a new version based on the Revised New Jerusalem Bible to be released in 2024), as well as the Patristic Lectionary. In 2014 he walked a 320km section of el Camino from Leon to Santiago, and completed another 210km section from Pamplona to Burgos in July 2017.
At the end of 2017 he took part in a two-month sabbatical, attending a 30 day Ignatian retreat at the Campion Center in Weston (near Boston) with the legendary Fr Bill Barry (d.2020) and then at the ecumenical Tantur Center in Jerusalem. In mid 2018, Richard took a break from public ministry, moving to Sydney to study and be personally renewed and work on multimedia projects with other talented people. In mid 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, Richard moved to Wollongong and returned to ministry helping in the northern suburbs parishes of Thirroul, Bulli and Corrimal and hospital chaplaincy.
On 1 Jan 2022, Richard joined the parish team at St John the Evangelist, Campbelltown, as assistant pastor.
A Catholic priest; this website has links to audio recordings of my homilies and so much more.
I had to write this five-page sketch of my spiritual life as part of my application to take part in the thirty-day Ignatian retreat at the Campion Center in Weston, USA in October 2017.
The Lord has done great things for me
Many years ago, I read the biography of the then holy father, Pope John Paul II – ‘Witness of Hope’ by George Weigel (1999). One of the things that really struck me as I read his story, was the detail about his ordination as a deacon. It was essentially a private event, taking place during the darkest days of World War II, in the private chapel of his archbishop. Prevented from celebrating this occasion in the life of the future leader of the church in grander style, the young Karol Wojtyla made do with a hand-written prayer card to mark the occasion. He chose to quote from the Magnificat to express the wonder of what Mary experienced when the angel called her and announced to her that she would be the mother of the Lord. Like Mary, Blessed John Paul knew that anything that was good in his life was the gift of the Lord Jesus. So he was able to declare this truth in three words from the Latin Vulgate translation of the scriptures, quoting from the gospel of Luke, chapter 1, verse 49: ‘fecit mihi magna’ – fecit [he has done] mihi [to me] magna [great things].
When I was in turn ordained a deacon, I chose to use this powerful quotation from scripture to express my gratitude to the Lord for all the wonderful and beautiful things that he has done in my life. So this website is a small way of helping to declare ‘fecit mihi magna’ – ‘[the mighty One] has done great things to me… and Holy is his name!’