Missionary priest Fr Warren Kinne ssc is looking forward to one of the more unusual challenges of his religious life – he has signed up as an official Commonwealth Games chaplain, The Catholic Leader reports.
“There will be surprises on the track and in the pool, and there could well be surprises of the spirit,” he said.
Fr Kinne, who turns 72 in May, spent two decades as a Columban missionary priest in communist China.
He returned to Australia last year and now lives on the Gold Coast working in parishes and as a student chaplain at Griffith University.
He has joined the army of volunteers preparing for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and 11 days of world class sporting competition in April.
“It will be spectacular, and I’m happy to be part of the action,” Fr Kinne said.
Fr Kinne will join chaplains and representatives from 16 religions and faith organisations, providing services and pastoral care at the Gold Coast athletes’ village – a home away from home for an estimated 6600 athletes and support staff from 70 Commonwealth countries.
In the heart of the village a multi-faith centre is the religious hub is where Fr Kinne will celebrate Mass, sharing the facility with other faith communities including the four main religions represented – Christian, Buddhist, Hindu and Islam.
Another Catholic chaplain, Helen Day, will be on hand – part of a team of volunteers offering pastoral care and support at the centre from 7am to 11pm throughout the Games.
“We’re going to have a significant number of Catholic athletes and their supporters and coaches and so it is good to have a profile there,” Fr Kinne said.
“There will also be support outside for people who want to attend local churches, mosques or temples.”
The full version of this story was first published by The Catholic Leader.
Photo: Connie Nowlan/Catholic Leader