New Zealand Marist priest Gerald Arbuckle, 30 August, was presented with the Maria Cunningham Lifetime Contribution Award in Sydney.
“I am personally thrilled by the award; Catholic health and aged care ministries are unique”, Fr Arbuckle said in a phone conversation.
“The award acknowledges the emphasis that I and so many others have been giving to two fundamental issues, the values of Jesus Christ, the Good Samaritan, and the maintenance of these values through appropriate formation of staff”.
Gerry’s life-long commitment to learning, sterling research and belief in the power of Scripture to build up a people who best reflect God’s greatest dream is truly inspirational and a wonderful witness to the Marist Charism.
Provincial of the Society of Mary New Zealand, Fr David Kennerley says the province shares Fr Arbuckle’s pleasure and the recognition of his professional achievements.
“The award highlights Gerry’s ability to reads the signs of the times”, Fr Kennerley said in a statement.
“Gerry’s life-long commitment to learning, sterling research and belief in the power of Scripture to build up a people who best reflect God’s greatest dream is truly inspirational and a wonderful witness to the Marist Charism”, he said.
The Maria Cunningham Lifetime Contribution Award takes the name of Sr Maria Cunningham RSC OAM.
For all her working life, Maria Cunningham worked as a nurse, a nurse educator and a leader of Catholic health care ministries, and by giving this award to Fr Arbuckle, Catholic Health Australia acknowledges Gerry’s lifetime dedication to Catholic health and aged care services in the United States, Canada and Australia.
Catholic Health Australia co-ordinates the largest network of hospitals and aged care facilities in Australia.
Fr Arbuckle began ministry in healthcare with his 1995 address, “Refounding the Mission and Values in Chaotic Times”.
Delivered in the United States, the address became the catalyst for an increasing involvement in health ministry and the start of his various roles as a board director, consultant, researcher and author of health sector publications.
Among his extensive list of healthcare publications, Fr Arbuckle wrote three well received books; two receiving international awards
- Healthcare Ministry: Refounding the Mission in Tumultuous Times
- Catholic Identity or Identities? Refounding Ministries in Chaotic Times, and
- Humanizing Healthcare Reforms.
In 2008 the Government of New South Wales appointed Fr Arbuckle to the Independent Panel overseeing the reform of the state’s public hospital system and three years later he delivered the Martin D’Arcy SJ, Memorial Lectures at Oxford University on the need to humanize national healthcare reforms.
In 1990 Gerald Arbuckle was appointed as a member of the Refounding and Pastoral Development ministry based in Sydney.
The ministry, established as a flexible, international research and consultancy unit is sponsored by the Marist provincials of New Zealand, Australia and Oceania.
Image: Catholic Health Australia National Conference 2016 newsletter