by PETER GRACE
A new book means the late Msgr Vince Hunt continues to say something today, according to priest and teacher, Fr John Dunn.
On December 4, Glimpses of Hope, the writings of former seminary rector Msgr Vincent Hunt, was launched as a book at St Columba Centre in Ponsonby.
Fr Dunn, who edited the book, told told guests at the launch that the idea for the book came from Fr Neil Darragh. “He brought it to our research group [Theological Research Unit], and we decided that it would be very appropriate if we put a book of his writings together.”
Fr Dunn explained that Accent Publications had gifted that imprint to the Theological Research Unit, “and it’s our first publication under this imprint”.
Vince Hunt was born in Ireland in 1924 and came to New Zealand after his ordination in 1952. After parish appointments in Auckland and Hamilton, he was asked to take on a seminary role. Most of
the rest of his priestly service was as an academic, by which time he was becoming known for his wisdom and humanity.
Even Australian bishops were known to seek his advice.
Vince Hunt died on October 8, 2014.
Not only was the man a marvellous priest and teacher, Fr Dunn said, but he continues to say something to our contemporaries. “He had a wisdom alongside a deep passion for the Church, which never diminished.”
The title for the book was Vince Hunt’s own choice.
The editors had divided his writings into four main areas, Fr Dunn said: Spirituality and contemporary issues; Christian education; Formation of priests; and Moral theology.
“The final one is probably the most academic, and I know it’s on the reading lists of many courses of moral theology.”
Jo Ayers from Accent Publications told guests that when Accent published its first book [in 1996], Pa Henare Tate had told them that when a book was finished, the makers needed to separate themselves from it, and let the book go out and do its work.
In this case, the makers, and invited Irish clergy, walked slowly around a table where copies of the book were displayed, placing their hands on the books to launch them, as guests sang a hymn.
The evening ended with light refreshments to the accompaniment of Vince Hunt’s favourite music CDs.
From left, Glimpses of Hope editor Fr John Dunn and four Irish-born priests: Paddy Collins,
Leo Doyle, Martin Bugler and Matthew Clerkin, OFM Cap.
by PETER GRACE