Father Patrick Barry (APA)
There was an article on our priest Father Patrick Barry in the Perth Archdiocesan newspaper last year on my birthday. Father Patrick is an amazing man and no article could do justice to him and his mission of spreading Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration around the world. As a young man he worked for many years in Melbourne and Perth doing street ministry to the poor, homeless kids and prostitutes with a Catholic lay community. This is when I first met him in Melbourne when he was about 19 and I was 23 years old. At this time he was a worker with Open Family in Melbourne. After meeting a Christian Brother Frank Feain who also joined Open Family Patrick felt called to a more spiritual ministry of reaching out to Street people than was offered within Open Family. He and Frank and a few others including myself began the Spirit of Freedom Community as a Catholic Charismatic lay Community that served the poorest of the poor on the streets.
On that first meeting I knew that Patrick was someone special and he had a certain anointing of goodness and divine favour about him. 27 years later I have no reason to question my first impression. His trust in Divine Providence and the miracles of provision that God works for him would equal any lives of the saints. At times he has been assisted by angels.
I remember us meeting and chatting with a group of secular Israelis at the Bangkok airport when I was off to Jerusalem to open a chapel of Perpetual Adoration with three others and he was going to Sri Lanka. After Father Patrick left the Israelis asked me who he was as they felt he was someone very special and they sensed his holiness. Father Patrick had been in civilian clothing and they had no idea he was a priest. He has proved over many years to be a kind and loyal friend.