At 70 years old, Father Mick Lowcock could be forgiven for reaching for the proverbial pipe and slippers but 25 years into his ministry at Mount Isa the great man is still going strong for his community.
Tuesday, December 4 was his 70th birthday and a big crowd rolled into Good Shepherd’s Lumen Christi Centre to celebrate with their Catholic parish priest who seemed a little embarrassed with the attention but still enjoyed the night with good humour.
Father Mick was out on the floor doing the moves with the Pacific Island dancers who garlanded him with bank notes causing him to call out “what time do the pokies shut?”
He was joking of course.
The money will come in handy when he leads a roughly 20-strong delegation of Mount Isa students and guardians to be blessed by the Pope at World Youth Day in Panama next month.
It’s all part of being a pastoral leader and the fact the Pacific Islanders were there to dance and sing showed how Father Mick reached out to all local communities as Dr Ioselani Pouesi pointed out.
Father Mick’s leadership was also strong in helping the Aboriginal community in North West Queensland, as Townsville Bishop Tim Harris said in a video message.
Bishop Harris praised Father Mick for his wisdom and said how move he relied on him since moving to Townville last year.
And of course it was Father Mick who got the standing ovation at the bishop’s ordination having filled in as diocesan administrator for three years since the previous bishop died.
On Tuesday there were also messages from priests he served with over the years and Tony McGrady presented him with a certificated signed by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“Father Mick, you are truly loved and respected by all walks of life and across all faiths and all because of the support and warmth you provide with selflessness, wisdom and good humour,” the Premier wrote on the certificate.
It was hard to disagree with her words and host on the night James Coghlan recalled an event that showed why he had earned the respect of all faiths.
“Father Mick has never been one to toe the line,” Mr Coghlan said.
“There were headlines around the world when he decided to offer Muslims in his community a prayer room.”
Father Mick said in 2016 his decision to allow the Islamic community to use the space did not come without contention.
And as Mr Coghlan said, Father Mick could be rocking the boat for quite some time to come. Father Mick’s father is still alive and well in Brisbane at 103 years old.
READ ALSO: When Father Mick met the Pope
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