The Lower Blue Mountains has been blessed with a new priest.
Fr Joseph (Joe) Lam OSA was officially installed as Parish Priest of St Finbar’s, Glenbrook, by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, with former parish priest Fr Jolly Chacko concelebrating.
Bishop Vincent told the congregation that he was very pleased to be welcomed to this celebration. “People of God, today is a day of joy, of hope, of trust.
“Lord, we ask for your blessing and guidance upon Fr Joseph as he begins his ministry of leadership and pastoral care and service here in this community of St Finbar’s. Prosper the work of his hands and his heart,” he said.
In his words of thanks, Fr Joe explained that he was humbled in his appointment, and thanked his “co-worker” in ministry, Fr Jolly, for his guidance of the parish.
Upon further reflection in comments posted to the parish’s Facebook page after his installation, Fr Joe reinforced that his mission as pastor is to walk alongside the parish, rather than govern it.
“My understanding is that I am here to walk with you on your journey of faith. Together, we walk as pilgrims of faith.
“I have said on many occasions that St Finbar’s is not MY parish. Rather, the parish is US and WE are the STEWARDS of the faith and its transmission to the next generation. (sic)
“Pope Francis calls us to be a new community, one that is SYNODAL. We are Church because we are BEING TOGETHER on the pilgrimage. (sic)
“This is an opportunity for conversion and renewal through a transformative gaze at the encounter with Jesus Christ.
“This Christ encounter enables us to realise that God desires and calls all people to holiness.
“Carried by this renewed self-awareness, we grow in confidence to take up responsibilities and to make our contributions to the building up of the Church.
“I invite you to assist the Parish in building up a community that is transformative and faithful to Christ.
“I would like to thank you all for your commitment and love for God and for our Parish. I am so glad that I can be part of this wonderful community,” he wrote.
Fr Joe had previously served as assistant priest at Our Lady, Queen of Peace Parish, Greystanes, since 2019.
Following the installation, Bishop Vincent was able to bless the parish’s new outdoor columbarium, which had been a project 65 years in the making.
The series of five columbarium walls will serve as a resting place for urns containing ashes of the dearly departed for parishioners and those across the Blue Mountains.
“This columbarium shows the beauty of our Catholic faith, that sense of communion between the living and the dead,” Bishop Vincent said during the blessing.
View images from the installation of Fr Joseph Lam and the blessing of the columbarium here or below.