For the first time in his four years as Bishop of Parramatta, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv celebrated Mass at St Patrick’s Cemetery, Parramatta, to commemorate All Souls’ Day.
Bishop Vincent was joined at the St Francis Chapel by Fr Philip Miscamble OFM, Provincial of the Order of Friars Minor and Br David Leary OFM, Provincial Secretary, as well as a small number of members of the faithful as part of a lengthy tradition upheld by the Cathedral Parish.
“We are here to pray, not only for those who have been buried here, but also for our deceased loved ones who have gone before us, marked with the sign of faith,” Bishop Vincent said.
“We express our communion with them, the communion between the living and the dead, as we believe that they continue to be with us until we ourselves complete our pilgrimage of faith and be united with them.
The first official Catholic burial ground
Dating to the 1820s, St Patrick’s Cemetery became NSW’s first official Catholic burial ground, demonstrating an independence from the largely Protestant-dominated colonial society in early Australia.
The chapel itself is Australia’s oldest surviving mortuary chapel, erected in 1844 over the remains of Fr Thomas Francis McCarthy, and five other priests of Parramatta.
The known burials throughout the cemetery span 150 years from 1822 to 1972.
Parishes around the Diocese of Parramatta commemorated All Souls’ Day with Masses both in-person and through livestreams.
View images from the All Souls’ Day Mass at St Patrick’s Cemetery here or below: