Tribute to Monsignor Geoff Baron – and welcome to Dean Johnson

Its a funny thing when you find out about local news on Yahoo. I was signing into my yahoo mail account today when I saw the news that a new dean has been appointed for St Patrick’s Cathedral here in Melbourne, following the resignation of Monsignor Baron.

It is with great sadness that I wish to farewell Dean Baron. The circumstances of his resignation reflect unfairly upon the great service he gave to the Archdiocese and the Cathedral especially during his years as dean. I was often involved in visits of groups from other churches and other faiths to the Cathedral, and everyone commented on the obvious love and enthusiasm that Fr Geof had for the building as a house of God.

I personally am thankful to him for embracing the idea of a sung lunchtime mass on Fridays at 1pm. They were modest affairs–always unaccompanied–but I like to think that folk looked forward to them. The dean had a fine chanting voice, and it was always encouraging to hear the voices of the worshippers raised in the simple chant responses that made Friday lunchtimes special.

I don’t know anything at all about the new dean Fr Gerard Johnson–other than that he has been parish priest of the combined parishes of Kyneton and Trentham. I am looking forward to working with him, and especially hope that Monsignor Baron’s institution of sung masses at Friday lunchtimes will continue under his leadership.


I am told that Fr Johnson was the Vocations director for the Archdiocese prior to Fr Paul Stewart’s term in that office (prior to current occupant Fr Anthony Denton). He is highly spoken of around the office.

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4 Responses to Tribute to Monsignor Geoff Baron – and welcome to Dean Johnson

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi David,
    Fr Gerard Johnson used to be a chorister in the choir at St Pats. he might enjoy sung Mass.

  2. Schütz says:

    Ah! That is indeed good news too!

  3. Alan says:

    I often wonder what kind of person would continue to support an evil institution like the Catholic church in the wake of all of the child molestations. Now I know that YOU must be that kind of person. Have you not seen the video or heard what this horrible person said to those boys?

  4. Schütz says:

    I have seen the video and heard what he said. I have also known the man for a long time, better than you do, I expect. I have also heard his unreserved apology, and the deep shame he has experienced in relation to his behaviour. He is not a “horrible person”. He is a human being, like you and me. And thank God that the Catholic Church is one place where human beings–fallible, hopeless human beings–still may find forgiveness and acceptance. When you come to the point of realising that you are “that kind of person” too, Alan, you are welcome to join us, to learn what the word “forgiveness” means.

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