Well known and well respected Catholic Priest, Fr Brooks Patterson died in the Mater Hospital on Friday, 29 April, 2005 after a long illness.

Fr Brooks Patterson was born in Winton in 1937. His parents were Donald and Hilda Patterson.

Fr Brooks was educated at Winton and Barcaldine and later at the Sacred Heart Convent School Barcaldine. He received his secondary education at the Marist Brothers College in Ashgrove, Brisbane.

After leaving school he completed his apprenticeship as a Pharmacist at Brock’s Pharmacy in Rockhampton and worked for several years at the Parke Davis Company.

Before entering the seminary in Brisbane in 1965, Fr Brooks was involved with the Young Christian Worker’s Movement, St Vincent de Paul Society and was an active member of the Pauline Society for Lay Missionaries.

After studying for the Priesthood at Banyo Seminary, he was ordained a priest in Winton on 5 August, 1971 by Bishop Leonard Faulkner, the then Bishop of Townsville. He was the first and only man ordained a priest of the Diocese from Winton.

Since his ordination, Fr Patterson has served in many parishes in the Diocese including Ayr, Cathedral, Cranbrook (with special pastoral care of the Upper Ross area), Charters Towers, Ingham, Mt Isa, Hughenden, Winton, Whitsundays and Mundingburra.

Fr Brooks retired from his position of Parish Priest in Charters Towers because of ill health at the end of 2003. He was then appointed as the Priest in residence at Mundingburra Parish and lived at the Bishop’s House.

Despite further deterioration in his health, he continued to provide a caring pastoral role in the Blessed Mary Mackillop Parish at Mundingburra and as a member of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission. He maintained a great love and interest in liturgy throughout his priestly life. During his short time at Mundingburra he lost many of his treasured possessions in the fire that destroyed the parish centre in March 2004.

In November 2004 he became too ill to continue his ministry and retired to live at the Catholic Presbytery in Railway Estate where he was well cared for by Fr Glenn Humphreys.

He is survived by his two sisters, Joy Greenaway and Louise Jackson.

His funeral took place at Holy Trinity Church, Ross River Road, Mundingburra on Wednesday, 4 May, 2005 at 10.30am. A Vigil Service was also held at Holy Trinity Church on Tuesday, 3 May, 2005 at 7.30pm.

See also Bishop Putney's homily on the occasion of Fr Patterson's funeral.