New St Patrick’s celebrates 10 years of growth
This year marks 10 years since the dedication of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta, which was rebuilt after the previous building was destroyed by fire on 19 February 1996.
The Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, presided at the anniversary Mass on Friday 29 November 2013. The Mass was concelebrated by Parramatta’s Bishop Emeritus Kevin Manning, who oversaw the rebuilding program for the new Cathedral.
Holy Father was represented by His Excellency, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, with Msgr Luis-Miguel Muñoz Cardaba.
Concelebrants included: Most Rev Robert McGuckin, Bishop of Toowoomba; Most Rev Peter Ingham, Bishop of Wollongong; Most Rev Peter Comensoli, Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney representing His Eminence Cardinal Pell; and Very Rev Robert Borg, representing the Diocese of Broken Bay, currently sede vacante; and priests of the Diocese of Parramatta.
The anniversary of the dedication of the Cathedral is a high holy day for any diocese, Bishop Anthony said. “But for one whose Cathedral rose from the ashes of its predecessor there is a special poignancy.
“Bishop Manning rebuilt, enlarged and modernised this Cathedral, with more than a little help from his friends, such as Fr Peter Williams, Fr John Boyle and Fr Arthur Bridge, Sr Rosemary Crumlin RSM, Helen Howard, and the late Eileen Prehn.
“Bishop Manning commissioned Design Architect Romaldo Giurgola and partners to undertake the restoration and design of the new Cathedral complex. For this work MGT Architects was awarded the highly esteemed Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Buildings in 2004.
“Pamille Berg oversaw much of the fine detail in the restoration and new construction and coordinated the art program.”
Great acts of love
New St Patrick’s opened debt free following an extensive fundraising program of race days, parliamentary dinners, art show, auctions, celebrity dinners and concerts organised by Chancery and diocesan staff and volunteers.
In his homily, Bishop Anthony said great cathedrals only come into being through great acts of love, as people invest vision, energy and resources into God’s house, as the people of Parramatta and beyond did more a decade ago.
“Just as in an ancient temple or a medieval minster, every corner of our modern Cathedral must tell the story of would-be saints making their way to God amidst the joys and anxieties of ordinary life, in union with the Sacrifice of the Eucharist.”
For the Mass, Fr Arthur Bridge on behalf of Ars Musica commissioned the Philip Stopford motet Locus Iste, composed to mark the 10th anniversary.
Major donors represented at the Mass included James Power, Ray and Shirley Wehbe, Sarkis and Bernadette Nassif, Chris and Michele Timmins for Timmins Funerals, and Patsy Healy for WN Bull Funerals.
On 17 March this year, Bishop Anthony blessed the St Mary of the Cross Chapel, a new shrine in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in honour of our diocesan patron. At this ceremony, the Bishop launched Project Ten, a program of major works in the Cathedral precinct.
“Through Project Ten we hope to maintain this great space and further adorn it in the years ahead. For cathedrals are the projects of generations,” Bishop Anthony said.
“I hope one day to see a great image of Our Lady in the main Cathedral and in the forecourt a statue of Blessed John Paul II, the Pope who established our Diocese in 1986, proclaimed the old Cathedral and, still reigning in 2003, sent his legate to consecrate new St Patrick’s.
“When our Diocese launches its pastoral plan next year, this Cathedral will be at the heart of many initiatives extending out through our parishes, schools and agencies.”
Read Bishop Anthony’s Homily
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Photo Gallery: 10th Anniversary Mass of the Dedication of New St Patrick’s
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