Fr Len Egan
John Costa, First published 19 June 2013, Updated Friday 21 and Tuesday 25 June 2013 The funeral mass of former Mary Immaculate Parish Priest (1985-1993) Fr Leonard James (Len) Egan was concelebrated at 11 am today, Friday 21 June, at the packed church of St Clement of Rome in Bulleen, his prior parish. The Church is at the end of Egan Drive, Bulleen. The Eulogy by Fr Bren Donahue in all its directness showed great understanding of Len and his impact, and is available here. The Funeral left at the conclusion of Mass for the Priests' Crypt, Melbourne General Cemetery, Carlton.
Fr Egan retired in 1993 as Pastor Emeritus from what later became Ivanhoe Parish and died at St Catherine's Aged Care Facility, Balwyn on June 16, 2013 aged 94 years. In a number of ways he was ahead of his time, speaking with honesty but gently about things that needed to be said about disturbing trends in church participation, things that were subsequently acknowledged. Whilst very much a priest and a modest man of quirky humour his challenging perceptions led this writer amongst others to become religious groupies and follow him to his new posting then at Ivanhoe. A dedicated priest for 68 years he was committed to the Gospel and to the people entrusted in his care. Pastoral visits were a regular part of his ministry and I was impressed to find him one day at the door of my house several hilly kilometers away in Lower Templestowe to which he had walked from Bulleen, and from which afterwards he respectfully declined a lift home. Prior to Bulleen Father Egan was appointed Assistant Priest at the parishes of Deepdene, Alphington and Kew and then became Administrator of West Melbourne Parish. He was subsequently appointed Parish Priest of Sunshine North, and then Yarraville.
Fr Egan's challenging thoughts led Mary Immaculate Parish Newsletters during that time to become collectors' items.The Church has been enriched over almost two millennia by people of faith, some since canonised, who like Jesus were challenging, for which in this case also a debt of gratitude is owed to Fr Leonard James Egan. May he rest in peace.