After serving as their shepherd for six years, Fr Christopher Antwi-Boasiako has farewelled his family at Corpus Christi Parish, Cranebrook.
The parish recently came together to farewell the ‘gift’ and ‘blessing’ of their parish priest, who will be returning to his home country of Ghana to be with his family.
Fr Chris was appointed administrator of Corpus Christi in February 2017, whilst parish priest Fr George O’Mara was battling with cancer. Fr George passed away later that month.
In August 2018, Fr Chris was appointed Parish Priest, with the parish community and members of the African migrant chaplaincy celebrating his installation in November.
“We unite ourselves with Fr Chris, who exemplifies the missionary spirit by his embrace of the unknown,” Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, told the congregation at Fr Chris’ installation.
In thanking the parish following his installation in 2018, Fr Chris shared that following a short appointment as administrator of the parish in 2015, he hoped he would return to serve the community.
“Hardly did I know that I would be back so early to serve the community in the capacity of a parish priest while still young and energetic,” he said at the time.
Fr Chris a great support to young and old
Fr Chris’ energy, vibrancy and faithfulness was a key asset to the parish, as detailed in a farewell message from the parish’s pastoral council.
“Throughout his priestly ministry here at Corpus Christi, he [Fr Chris] has shown us faithful commitment as he engaged in constantly serving God by walking with and loving his people here in Cranebrook,” it read.
“From our smallest children, through our teens and adults to our golden ‘young at heart’ seniors, Fr Chris has provided encouragement, counsel and inspiration.
“We are proud and grateful that you have been, and will continue to be, part of our Corpus Christi story. Remember, you will always find a welcome here among us.”
Fr Chris a ‘vibrant central focus’ of community
The Parish Finance Council also appreciated Fr Chris’ work to strengthen the ties between the parish, Corpus Christi Primary School and Xavier College, Llandilo.
“Fr Chris has been instrumental in bringing these groups together and in doing so, it has been clear that he is truly passionate about the children and youth of the parish,” the council said. “He has a special relationship with them and has ensured that they have been a central focus of all parish activities.
“Fr Chris has supported our parish groups and helped them find their place and carry out their ministries in the parish. Not to mention fostering a wonderful community of acolytes, altar servers, musicians, readers and data operators.
“We thank you for your unwavering love and dedication to each and every member of our parish.
“You have made a lasting impression in our community and left it in a stronger position.”
Fr Chris a ‘special part of our team’
Those who worked closest with Fr Chris, his parish team members, were grateful for the impact he has made on the parish and its parishioners.
“During our time working with Fr Chris, we have had the opportunity to learn of the dedicated and caring person he is,” they wrote.
“He quickly became a special part of our team and constantly offered us guidance and support in the running of the parish.
“We have experienced many happy memories and some occasions that have challenged us, and Fr Chris has been there to share and guide us.
“The Parish team will certainly miss him, but we understand that God has special plans for him and that wherever he goes, he will have much influence on those he meets and works with.”
Time at parish a ‘joy’ and ‘inspiration’
In his own farewell message written to the parishioners in the parish’s bulletin, Fr Chris was honoured with the various farewell celebrations he was able to share with the parish.
“I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to all of you for welcoming me into your lives during my time here,” he wrote.
“It has been a time of joy, inspiration as well as some challenges (especially navigating our way through COVID-19 together!)
“I hope I have helped all of you in some way on your spiritual journey through life.
“I wish you every blessing as you move on to the next chapter of parish life at Corpus Christi.”
The Diocese of Parramatta thanks Fr Chris for his years of faithful service to the people of Corpus Christi Parish, Cranebrook, as well as his previous parishes of St Bernadette’s Parish, Castle Hill, Padre Pio Parish, Glenmore Park and St Michael’s, Blacktown South.
We wish him all the best and will continue to pray for his generous, community-building ministry in Ghana.