It has been three years since St Paul the Apostle Parish, Winston Hills, celebrated the Feast of St Paul, but this year’s celebration on Sunday 26 June was worth the wait.
Celebrated by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, the Mass was an opportunity to give thanks for the many parishioners that have built up, and continue to serve the parish family.
Integral to this was celebrating its many cultures with parishioners leading the Universal Prayers of the Faithful in different languages.
In his homily, Bishop Vincent encouraged the community to continue to follow in the footsteps of St Paul – sharing their faith in Jesus Christ through their witness.
The celebration was made more meaningful by the return of the Altar Server ministry to the Mass after a two-year absence.
15 new Altar Servers were instituted into this ministry by Bishop Vincent with another 18 renewing their commitment and taking on the responsibility of mentoring their sisters and brothers, both literally and figuratively!
Bishop Vincent, impressed by the remarkable number of young people willing to serve, remarked to Parish Priest Fr Raning Creta that he would love to see as many serving in the Cathedral Parish.
The ministry continues to be blessed with new servers from our local public schools, having experienced the welcome of the sacramental program through the work of parish catechists.
An important part of the Feast Day celebrations was the shared meal and fellowship that followed the Mass. Members of the parish family, invited to share foods from their culture, provided a smorgasbord of dishes for the 400 parishioners that joined in the celebration. For many it was an opportunity to give back to the parish community.
Musical entertainment was provided for the gathering by two siblings from our parish youth, inspiring Bishop Vincent to share his own musical talents with an impromptu karaoke performance. The day was rounded out by a cultural performance by the Samoan community, sharing traditional music and dance.
As a parish, we continue to be overwhelmed and humbled with the prayers, service and generosity of our parishioners and in making our Feast Day celebration a tremendous success.