The sun shone brightly as nearly 170 people gathered at St Luke’s Catholic College, Marsden Park on Sunday 11 March for the inaugural meeting of St Luke’s Catholic Community, Australia’s newest Catholic community.
It was a family affair as many young parents and their children joined Deacon Tony Hoban and his wife, Annette and their entire family for the BBQ and Chat. Proceedings kicked off with the shared lunch, which included the cutting of a cake and rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” to celebrate the ‘birth’ of Australia’s newest Catholic community.
After lunch, it was down to business as Richard McMahon, Director of Pastoral Planning and Implementation for the Diocese of Parramatta dared the community to “dream” of the community they wished to become. Participants of all ages contributed ideas they had for their new Catholic faith community. These ideas will be compiled and used to help guide the direction of the new parish.
In a video message, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta welcomed the community and urged the participants to work together for the success of the community, “Collaboration is the way the Catholic Church needs to operate, now more than ever before”.
“We know our clergy can’t do everything well, nor should they, Christian ministry is best exercised in partnership, therefore our clergy need the help of many people if they are to enable faith communities to flourish”
He challenged St Luke’s that each time he visits he witnesses the result of that collaboration to “be a community of a great sense of hospitality” where people grow in faith. He urged them to “looks outwards to the needs of people on the margins of society” so that “your growth and vibrancy will be a strong witness to collaboration as the hallmark of St Luke’s”.
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Tessie James, an advisory committee member assisting Deacon Tony and Annette, said that she is excited about the future of St Luke’s as it was an answer to prayer. “When I moved to Marsden Park, I prayed that I could I have something like this.”
Bishop Vincent will celebrate the first Mass of the community at 10am on Sunday April 8 at St Luke’s Catholic College, Marsden Park. All are welcome to join.
To find out more and connect with St Luke’s Marsden Park Catholic Faith Community: