Fr Laurie Fitzgerald

Written on the 17 April 2018 by Old Collegians Association

Fr Laurie Fitzgerald

Excerpt from 2002 Rostrevor Magazine

From the 1951 Annual: Fr Laurence Peter Fitzgerald, OP., was ordained in Rome at the Church of Santa Maria Nuova on July 1st of this year. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. PG Fitzgerald of Canterbury, Victoria. After attending Rostrevor as a day Boy, he completed his secondary studies at St Kevin's College, Melbourne. Sent to Rome to study for the Doctorate of Sacred Theology, he will take two more years to complete it.

The recent Queen's Birthday honours list acknowledged the work of old scholar priest Fr Laurence Fitzgerald ('40) OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) in the area of Education and Religious Interface Dialogue in particular Islamic dialogue.

Fr Fitzgerald attended Rostrevor in 1940 with his three brothers, Tom, Brian and Kevin, Fr Tom Fitzgerald is also a Dominican priest and now resides at Blackfriars Priory in Adelaide. Brian and Kevin are both retired and live near Queenscliffe in Victoria.

Fr Laurie attended the Dominican Convent at Prospect in his primary school years and then made the tram journey into the city and out to Rostrevor. Brother Tom began at Rostrevor in 1936 during the era of Br Mackey and the Fitzgerald family had a great deal of respect for the work of the Christian Brothers and in particular, Br Mackey, from that association. Fr Laurie was ordained in Rome in1951 at the Church of Santa Maria Nuova. For the next two years he studied for the Doctorate of Sacred Theology and then returned to Australia. He was the second Headmaster of Blackfriars at Prospect from 1957-62.

From the 1948 Annual; Rev Fr Thomas Fitzgerald O.P., B.A. and Rev Fr Raymond A. Fitzpatrick O. P. B. A. were enrolled on the same day, February 2nd. 1936 - and in the same class - Sub-Junior - at Rostrevor. For four years they were classmates and after Matriculating they left together to join the Dominican Order at East Camberwell. Victoria. They received their B.A. degrees together from the Melbourne University in 1947, and crowned this remarkable unanimity of purpose and achievement, when on the same day, December 15th. they were ordained in St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne by the most Rev. Dr. D. Mannix, D.D. Fr Fitzgerald's family now reside in Melbourne, but Fr Fitzgerald flew over to Adelaide after Ordination and said his first Mass at the Dominican Convent, Cabra. Frs. Fitzpatrick and Fitzgerald have the distinction of being the first members of the Order to receive all their training in Australia. May they be spared many years to canyon the duties of their exalted vocation.

He maintained his passion for study and was awarded two Doctorates in Theology by the ANU in Islamic Dialogue and Theologians in the Middle Ages. He was encouraged by the Dominican Order to develop his contact with the Muslim Community and even studied classical Arabic at Melbourne University. 

Of his time at Rostrevor he has fond memories of Br Mogg and Gus Webb. A good friend of that time was Brian Moore who died prematurely in 1960.Brian Moore (1926-1960) attended Rostrevor as a boarder from Streaky Bay in 1940-44. He was an outstanding sportsman and played 1st XI Cricket and 1st XVIII football for four years. He was Captain of the 1st XI in 1944 and Vice-Captain of the 1st XVIII. He did Forestry at the National Foresty School in Canberra and worked in the State Forests around Mt Gambier. His sons Robert, Gerard and Peter attended Rostrevor in the 1960s.

From the 1951 Annual: Chapel Wedding. Brian Moore and Veronica Supple.

A Rostrevor contemporary of Laurie's Brian Davis, also answered his vocational call and became a Dominican priest. Brian was a Prefect and a member of the Combined Athletics Team for 5 consecutive years.

Fr Laurie now resides at Nazareth House in Melbourne.The Rostrevor Old Collegians' congratulate Fr Laurence Fitzgerald on his lifetime achievements and take a great deal of pride in his national recognition as an OAM.


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Author:Old Collegians Association


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