Message from the Oblate Provincial About Iona College

Message from the Oblate Provincial About Iona College

Dear Iona Community,

Greetings to you all from the Provincial of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

As Provincial, I am tasked with the leadership of the Australian Province of the Oblates and responsibility for the Governance of Iona College. Part of that responsibility is the placement of Oblates in our various ministries throughout the Province. In addition, it is our general custom in the Australian Province to receive a new appointment every 6 to 9 years.

I am writing to inform you that after consultation with the Provincial Council and Fr Michael Twigg OMI, who having served almost nine years at Iona College as Rector of the College, will conclude his ministry as Rector at the end of the 2023 academic year.

Over the course of his time as Rector, Fr Michael has worked alongside the Oblate community, Board and Provincial Administration to transform the role of Rector from the original Rector and Principal model to our current model. It has been discerned that it is the right time to review and redevelop the role of Rector in the College; this next step is a natural evolution of the role offering greater opportunity for Oblate presence in the future.

To facilitate a smooth transition, there will be a period of handover and redevelopment of the Rector role during term 2; Mr Goodwin will assume many of the administrative and governance responsibilities and take on the role and responsibility of CEO of Iona College at the end of Term 2.

The Oblates and Board thank Mr Goodwin for accepting this addition to his role and to lead the College well into the future.

The role of Rector will continue in a new form which will be consistent with and similar to that established at Mazenod College Victoria and other similar colleges.

The Provincial council and I will work with the College Board closely to facilitate this important new direction to ensure that the Oblate presence in the College remains significant, influencing all aspects of the College community but with particular attention on pastoral care, Oblate charism and Mission, values and community initiatives.

Fr Michael will conclude his administrative aspect of the role at the end of Term 2 and will continue to work in the new model of Rector in a pastoral capacity before accompanying the school rugby trip in September.

He will then remain and look to make the pilgrimage walk to Santiago de Compostela and personal leave in recognition of his 25 years of priestly service, all plans that were postponed due to COVID.

He will return in time for the end-of-year celebrations before departing for a sabbatical in early 2024, after which he will take up a new appointment.

There will be appropriate time at the end of the year to recognise the commitment and contribution that Fr Michael has made to Iona through his care alongside the Oblate community. Fr Michael has been tireless in his dedication to the College and broader community through moments of great joy and challenge for this we are very grateful.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank him for his dedicated work; apart from being Rector of Iona, Fr Michael currently serves on the Provincial Council, Archdiocesan Advisory Committees, as Rosies Board Director, and as the Bishop’s nominee on the Catholic Schools Parents Australia Board.

As a Province our desire and goal is to continue to promote vocations to the Oblates and I am very pleased to see that it is a strategic priority of the College. As an Old Boy of Iona, Fr Michael is very supportive of the promotion of vocations, and we sincerely ask you to keep vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life in your prayers. There are vocations within this community of Iona, which needs great community support to encourage, support and prayer.

I give thanks for the Oblate ministry of Fr Michael at Iona. As is our practice, after consultation, I intend to name the new Rector of Iona following our August Provincial Council Meeting. Fr Michael will also receive his new appointment at our August Council Meeting. Please keep that process in your prayers as well.

God bless,
Fr Christian Fini OMI