John Usher was born and lived his early life in Five Dock in Sydney. He attended infant school at Domremy College at Five Dock and his primary and secondary education was at St Patrick’s College Strathfield. On leaving school he worked for the Australian Bureau of Statistics whilst studying commerce.
He entered the Seminary when he was 25 years of age and was ordained a priest in 1972. As a priest he has lived in the parishes of Mt Pritchard, Balgowlah, Golden Grove, Dundas valley, Blacktown, Rozelle and Mortlake. During those years he studied Social Work at the University of Sydney and later became the Director of Centacare (Catholic Care), a position he held for 25 years.
On retiring from Centacare, he became the parish priest of St Patrick’s parish Mortlake and, at the same time, became the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Sydney. He became a Prelate of Honour in 2009. He has now retired as Chancellor whilst remaining as the Parish Priest of St Patrick’s Mortlake.