Fr.Gerard Tucker was born and lived in the Vicarage at Christ Church Sth Yarra. His father was the Parish Priest and a noted Christian Socialist, a relatively new movement of his time to which he contributed with letters and a published book on the philosophy and movement.
Gerard assisted with parish life and had a particular affection for the little 'out centre' church called St.Laurence where he taught Sunday school and largely cared for the parishoners of that centre who would have mostly been the domestic staff of the wealthier residents of South Yarra and Toorak.
St.Laurence, the patron Saint of the poor became the choice of Tucker as he formed first his 'Brotherhood' of priests to work amongst the poor and then his focus on social action and advocacy.
Often the experience of our younger years forms our thinking, passion and opinions for life. Tucker was restless and frustrated by a sense of a lack of support from the mainstream church and fought hard to begin the extrordinary work he later accomplished. His faith was deep. His persistence to make a nation free of poverty, moved beyond the simple rule of life of a religious order to the clearer focus of the urgency of addressing the deep generational poverty of a growing nation.
What Tucker began in 1930 established a consciousness in Australian society and politics that made appropriate thinking and action for disadvantaged Australians far more common place.
St.Laurence was commanded to bring the Treasures of the Church to the Emperor Valarien. Laurence gathered all the poor and lame and assembled them at the feet of the Emperor and proclaimed them the "true treasures of the Church".
The unique nature of the Brotherhood means that even with all its higher level thinking and action, we remain grounded in friendship with the people we care for.
Happy St.Laurence Day!
Fr. Jeff, Debra and Fr.Chaplain
August 10 2011.