Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv was welcomed by Deacon Tony Hoban, his wife Annette and over 300 people for the inaugural Mass at the newly established St Luke’s Catholic Faith Community, Marsden Park on Sunday 8 April 2018.
At the Mass, held in the newly-built at St Luke’s Catholic College, Bishop Vincent used the opportunity to install Deacon Tony as Pastoral Director of St Luke’s. In his homily, Bishop Vincent said that installing a Deacon and wife as pastoral directors of the community was no accident, “This is not an act of desperation on my part. Rather, it is a vote of confidence in Deacon Tony’s leadership credentials. It is also my belief that the time has come for us to recognise the gifts of married deacons and empower them to exercise those gifts for the benefit of the community”.
READ: Bishop Vincent’s homily
RELATED: First Mass for Marsden Park
VIEW: Images from the first Mass below or click here
Drawing parallels from scripture as he invited the community to draw inspiration from the readings of the day, “This second Sunday of Easter speaks of a new beginning and a time of renewal and hope. The Acts of the Apostles presents us with a community, which emerged from the turbulent period following the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus,” Bishop Vincent said.
Bishop Vincent went on to reassure the newly-formed community to not be afraid despite the turbulence of the Church and the world, “Today as we celebrate a new beginning in the life of this community, may we be bold, trustful, alert and open to the new things that God is doing in the Church and in the world.”
In his closing remarks, Deacon Tony was overwhelmed by the large turn out, “When I had my first meeting with the Bishop [Vincent] and Father Chris de Souza [Vicar General], I could have never envisaged so many people here for the first liturgical gathering.” He went on to thank members of the community, Bishop Vincent and the Diocese of Parramatta.
Paying further tribute to his family, Deacon Tony mentioned his children Jamie, Lisa and Julia, “I am a very proud deacon-Dad, as Lisa and Julia involved in the music ministry and Jamie in audiovisuals.” He then went on to thank his wife, Annette “as the woman who has been by side for 30 years and has been my greatest collaborator in life and in this community”.
In response to the thanks, Bishop Vincent made some further remarks, “In my time as Bishop of Parramatta, I have installed a few Parish Priests, however, there has been none as exciting as the one we have been part of today as installation of (Deacon) Tony and Annette as core leaders, as a Deacon couple. There’s something fresh, something new, something visionary about this community. I want to thank Tony and Annette for accepting the call to be pastoral leaders of this community. With family and children, their sacrifice and commitment is much greater than someone like myself who can easily uproot and go to a new place”.
Weekly Masses will now be held at St Luke’s Catholic College at 10am with visiting priests presiding over the Mass and with Deacon Tony assisting and preaching. The community hopes to raise the necessary funds for a Church to eventually be built on the site.
To find out more and connect with St Luke’s Marsden Park Catholic Faith Community: