Fr Denis’ faith in Jesus and his commitment to his Oblate Congregation enabled him to laid solid foundations to the Iona College in Queensland where he was a founding staff member. His hard work and even firmer faith in the Divine Providence resulted in the establishing of the collage. Later Fr Denis was called by his Provincial to look after M.A.M.I. – the office which supports various Oblate missions here in Australia and particularly overseas. The M.A.M.I. support enabled the Australian Oblates to establish flourishing missions in Indonesia and in China. Fr Denis travelled tirelessly our vast country to promote the Oblate missions and to share with others his enthusiasm for the work of the Evangelisation.
However his most striking quality was seeing goodness in every person. “What a marvellous person he is.” was his common comment on the people he met. In the homily at his Diamond Jubilee he revealed the secret of his many and lasting friendships: “If you want to make friends and keep them, Rule Number 1 is: Be kind to people; Rule number 2 is the same; Rule Number 3 is still the same.”
According to the Oblate tradition Fr Denis’ Oblate crucifix which was given to him on the day of his final vows was replaced by a simple black cross. The Oblate crucifix which is the most distinct feature of our Oblate religious habit doesn’t go to the coffin of the deceased Oblate but is kept in the Provincial archives as a sign of our unity with the Oblate who have gone before us and so that in the future another young man could take it up. Let’s hope and pray that Fr Denis’ Oblate crucifix doesn’t need to wait long before it is given to another man who will make a life commitment to Christ and his Church.