This is an open letter of thanks to the countless people who made the impossible happen here over the last few months.
Against the odds our parish has confirmed 181 Year 6 students and conferred Reconciliation and First Eucharist on 187 of our dear students in Year 3.
What do I mean? You would think that offering the sacraments is our bread and butter and really, very straight-forward. Well – it used to be! Holding any religious function in the wake of the pandemic is extraordinarily difficult. We might be able to have 3 – 4000 fans attend a footy match but we can still only have 100 people attend any religious services and they must be seated 4 square metres apart, (unless they are related to one another).
But we did it! We held 12 separate Masses for the confirmation candidates and another 12 Masses dedicated to giving First Eucharist to our children. Firstly, I would like to thank the children themselves – they have been wonderful and I feel that watching them all go through the sacramental experience has really gladdened my heart. Their parents too have been real troopers who very kindly understood the intense constraints we had to work with. And I think they enjoyed the experience.
Secondly, I really want to that Fr Mark and Fr Jiss who treated each of those 368 children as if they were the only one there, granting them the precious gifts of the sacraments with reverence and boundless energy and enthusiasm. When you think about the sheer numbers involved, this becomes quite an achievement.
Our music ministry was just outstanding; singing the same hymns over and over – with the same fervour. Many of the Masses were on weekdays as well, meaning that they donated so much of their time and energy to the cause. Our super men and women of Mass Coordination also ran extremely smooth and well conducted Masses in (for many) their non-existent spare time.
So, so many volunteers made this such a memorable experience but naming them all would list half the church. As Fr Mark says – you know who you are and how much we appreciate your generosity!
But I cannot possibly let this day pass without thanking our team leaders. As you know, Theivani Evers manages all our activities with grace and aplomb and devoted enormous time, talent and energy to this challenging task. Our sacramental co-ordinator, Louise Johnson, is a gift from God who has accomplished a virtually impossible task with dedication and diplomacy.
Magda Baraniecki our parish secretary, Tony Rose, our finance officer, Naomi Johnson, our data manager and Kyla Velasquez, our youth minister, all put their hearts and souls into the job, mostly in a voluntary capacity.
Finally, may I acknowledge and sincerely thank all the parish leaders’ families who put up with us all as we completed this huge sacramental program. There’s been a few hungry, cranky kids at times (and partners), but they were really wonderful.
Parish Pastoral Council