Parish Secretaries from across the Diocese of Parramatta gathered this month to pray, reflect and connect with each other. Close to 40 people in total attended the Parish Secretaries Day on 7 December 2016 at Mount Schoenstatt, Mulgoa.
The importance of Parish Secretaries in the mission of the Church was emphasised in their role of organising and welcoming the people of God in their local parishes.
Multiple speakers noted the figure of St Anna the Prophetess as an inspirational figure for Parish Secretaries. St Anna prayed and fasted in the Temple at Jerusalem, and prophesied, “spoke of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:38)
Sr Mary Louise Walsh ISSM is the Liturgy Educator in the Office for Worship and a member of the Secular Institute of Our Lady of Schoenstatt. Sr Mary Louise led the day’s reflection sessions on the season of Advent.
The day included a tour of the scenic retreat centre, perched on a hill in Mulgoa, south of Penrith. The main Shrine is a replica of the original in Schoenstatt, Germany, containing an image of Our Lady Thrice Admirable.
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv celebrated Mass and in his homily, reflected on the lighter moments in the life of a Parish Secretary, to the uproarious delight of all gathered.
“I want to say thank you for your role in making the Church, the local community, a positive experience for others. You are the first port of call for your parishioners. You help facilitate the links in your parish. You are the welcome interface between the people and the pastoral team. In your own way, you are part of the mission of the Church in supporting, empowering and caring for one another and especially those in need,” Bishop Vincent said.
All Parish Secretaries were able to catch up over a Christmas themed luncheon, to conclude the day in the late afternoon.
To view a gallery of photos, click here