Kung Hei Fat Choi!
The Chinese Catholic chaplaincy of the Diocese of Parramatta have welcomed in the Year of the Ox with a COVID-Safe celebration.
Members of the community wore traditional celebratory colours of red, yellow and pink during the Lunar New Year Mass that was celebrated on the grounds of St Monica’s Primary School, North Parramatta.
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, celebrated Mass alongside parish priest and chaplain to the Chinese community, Fr Ephraim Lam.
Bishop Vincent explained that he himself was born in the Year of the Ox, laughing off suggestions about his age.
“We welcome the Year of the Ox with the knowledge that God is on our side and God is faithful and, in spite of the challenges we face in the New Year, we will see them through with His grace,” Bishop Vincent said in his opening comments.
“We dedicate this year to the Lord, the blessings as well as the challenges, knowing that God will make all things beneficial for those who trust in Him.
“The Ox is a symbol of industry, patience, and endurance. We will need these virtues to see out what will be another challenging year,” he said.
Mass had readings, prayers and songs in both English and Cantonese, and was livestreamed through the Parish’s Facebook page.
Following Mass, donned in a traditional Vietnamese shirt, Bishop Vincent handed out red envelopes to the congregation, as the parish’s young people performed lion dances.
The Lunar New Year community dinner celebrations, normally held following Mass, were cancelled this year due to the pandemic.
View images from the Lunar New Year celebrations here or below.