NEW PRIEST: Father Matthew Moloney has returned to the Central Highlands.
NEW PRIEST: Father Matthew Moloney has returned to the Central Highlands. Amber Hooker

Father Moloney to make his mark in Central Queensland

A VOCAL advocate for drought-stricken Longreach residents, Father Matthew Moloney's presence will now be felt across the Central Highlands in his position as Catholic priest at St Patrick's Church, Emerald.

Having completed a pastoral placement in Emerald in 1999, this is Fr Moloney's second stint in the area and he is eager to familiarise himself with the local community.

"So (I am) here in Emerald now at St Pat's, which includes Blackwater and Dingo, and down to Springsure, Rolleston over to Anakie, and the dean of the whole area here as well," he said.

After leaving his home town of Longreach, Fr Moloney went on sabbatical leave to further his studies before he arrived in Emerald mid-August.

Now that "most of the boxes are unpacked", Fr Moloney said he looked forward to fulfilling all that his new role entailed.

"I was also the police chaplain in Longreach and am fortunate enough to also be the police chaplain for this community around here, so that's a great honour to be a part of as well," he said.

As well as his work within the church and with emergency services, Fr Moloney said he looked forward to meeting with locals of all ages and walks of life.

"Certainly coming up to the end of the year it is a busy time of the year with all the school celebrations.

"So that will be a nice opportunity to say hello to the different people.

"The welcome has been wonderful and certainly the community has been very welcoming, so I have been very blessed.

"So I just look forward to catching up with everybody and making this my new home."

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