60 years a priest: “The less you say the more you say”


Father Don Morrison recently celebrated 60 years of priesthood.

He told those gathered to honour the occasion that his first posting was to Pahiatua where the then parish priest advised him that “the less you say, the more you say.”

“As a Martinborough parishioner, where Fr. Don celebrates vigil Mass on a Saturday evening, I can confirm that Fr Don took this advice to heart – homilies are 3 – 5 minutes max!” said Margaret Bath, writing in the Martinborough Star.

“Although extra padding (topics which include family matters, Harry-the-dog visits to the vet, doctors, dentists visits, etc) are all covered before the final blessing.” she added.

Morrison has spent of 34 of his 60 years of priesthood years living in Featherston, in the shadow of the Rimutaka Range, serving the people of South Wairarapa.

The whole community, Catholic and non-Catholic, honoured Morrison’s 60th anniversary on July 22nd with a mass attended by local dignitaries, Cardinal John Dew and 14 other priests.

In all, about 200 people attended.

Bath said Morrison had done great work not only for the Catholic community but all.

“He mixes well, has a great sense of humour,  has been a Rotarian, is great with the children who know that at special occasions there is always a treat, even a sibling baptism!

“He is a leading example of ‘ecumenism at work'” she said.

Morrison celebrated his 85th birthday last December and takes his dog, Harry, for a daily walk around the streets of Featherston and talks to all he meets – young and old.

On Wednesdays, after the weekly Martinborough Mass, he can be found walking the aisles of local businesses Pain & Kershaw or Mitre 10 singing…la- la- la –la.

He also is often to be found at St Teresa’s School in Featherston and uses his talents as an artist to illustrate God’s teachings.

In the course of his priesthood, he has served in Kilbirnie, Opunake, Takaka, Featherston, 1976-80, Picton and Karori.

He returned to South Wairarapa in 1990.


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