Silver Jubilee Thanksgiving Mass
|Silver Jubilee Mass of Thankgiving. Photo: Alphonsus Fok & Grace Lu|
|Representatives of Our Lady of the Angels Rouse Hill share their Parish's story during the Silver Jubilee Mass celebrations. Photo: Kerry Myers|
The faithful gathered in their hundreds in St Patrick's Cathedral on Thursday 19 May for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta's Silver Jubilee Mass of Thanksgiving, where St Mary of the Cross MacKillop was announced as the patron of the Diocese.
The announcement of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop's patronage was made by His Excellency Giuseppe Lazzarotto, Apostolic Nuncio to Australia.
Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, presided at the Thanksgiving Mass, which was concelebrated by His Eminence Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy, His Excellency Giuseppe Lazzarotto, Bishops of the Greater Sydney Region, the Presbyterate of the Diocese of Parramatta, visiting Presbyters from Religious Institutes and Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Rev Wim Hoekstra.
The General Intercessions for the Mass were read in a variety of languages, including Vietnamese, Chinese, Arabic and Samoan, celebrating the diversity of the Diocese.
Prior to the Mass, the congregation reflected on some aspects of the past 25 years, as told by Parishioners representing Parishes established since the Diocese came into being.
Thankful to God for growth and consolidation
It was on 8 April 1986 that the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta was created by Pope John Paul II.
The area bounded by the new Diocese was previously part of the Archdiocese of Sydney. Since its creation, the Parishes of Kenthurst, Cranebrook, Glenmore Park, Stanhope Gardens/Glenwood and Rouse Hill have been established within the Parramatta Diocese.
The first Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Bede Heather DD, was installed on 19 May 1986. He was succeeded by Most Rev Kevin Manning DD (1997-2010). Bishop Anthony was installed as the third bishop on 4 March 2010.
Today, the Diocese is home to around 330,000 Catholics in one of the fastest-growing areas of New South Wales. The Diocese is made up of 49 Parishes. More than 45,000 students attend one of the 83 Catholic schools in the Diocese.
Parramatta was chosen as the seat of the Diocese due to its role in the early European settlement of Australia, its size as a commercial and administrative centre, and its pivotal position in the communications that link the west with other parts of Sydney.
It is contemporary urban Australia in miniature. It has Parishes as old as Parramatta, founded in 1827, Windsor in 1832 and Penrith in 1839. The newest Parish - Rouse Hill - was founded in 2007.
The story of the Diocese's first 25 years has been one of growth and consolidation. For that we are thankful to God, but also ready to embrace the challenges that await us in the future.With God’s grace and the leading of the Holy Spirit we will continue to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.