The Administrator of the Sacred Heart Cathedral Fr. John Holyoak died on Monday 18 July 2005, after a short illness aged 69 years. Fr. Holyoak has been Administrator of the Cathedral since 2001 but had Pastoral care of the Cathedral community since 1998 as parish priest of St. Mark’s on Cleveland Bay Parish.

Fr Holyoak was born in Brisbane in 1935 and attended Our Lady’s Mount Christian Brothers College before entering Pius XII Seminary in Brisbane in 1951. He completed his seminary formation at Propaganda College in Rome where he was ordained in 1959 by Cardinal Gregory Peter Agagianian. He continued his studies in Rome and obtained a Licentiate in Theology and a Licentiate in Canon Law at the Pontifical University – Urbano de Propaganda Fide. He then completed post graduate studies at the Collegio di San Pietro, Rome before returning to priestly ministry in Townsville Diocese.

Fr Holyoak has served in several parishes and has been parish priest of the Burdekin Valley, Ingham, Charters Towers, Railway Estate, Cleveland Bay and the Cathedral.

Fr. Holyoak has been Chancellor of the Townsville Diocese since 1968 and Secretary of the Roman Catholic Trust Corporation since 1974. He was involved in the Diocesan, State and National Tribunals of the Catholic Church.

He has served on numerous Diocesan Administrative committees and boards and was an active member of the Diocesan Development Fund Board and the Diocesan Finance and Property Council for more than thirty years.

Fr. Holyoak is survived by his two brothers and five sisters and their families. He will be buried from St. Patrick’s Church, South Townsville at 11am on Monday, 25 July 2005. There will be a Vigil Service and Sharing of Memories at South Townsville on Sunday evening 24 July 2005 commencing at 7:30pm.

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