RCIA reunion for jubilee year at St Nicholas of Myra Penrith Parish
|Some of the RCIA participants, past and present. Photo: Norman Heffernan|
Originally published in Catholic Outlook August 2014
One of the oldest parishes in the Diocese of Parramatta is celebrating its 175th anniversary. The parish of St Nicholas of Myra at Penrith opened the jubilee year with a celebration Mass that reflected its foundation story, carrying the theme, ‘Grounded in Faith, Living in Hope, Growing in Love’.
During the Mass a jubilee candle was lit by past and present Parish Priests: Vicar General Very Rev Chris de Souza VG EV, Rev Fr Wim Hoekstra and Rev Fr Mathew Antony MS.
The words of the theme resounded recently as the parish celebrated a special jubilee reunion Mass of all people who participated in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) since its inception in the parish in 1986.
The celebration welcomed candidates and families, sponsors and team members past and present. One of the past initiated, Gemma Allsopp, travelled from South Australia for the occasion.
The current Parish Priest, Fr Mathew Antony MS, was the principal celebrant for the Mass, which was concelebrated by Assistant Priest Fr Joe Manjaly MS, Fr Jolly Chacko MS and Fr Phil Medlin CSsR.
The RCIA has been a significant part of the parish’s history and a vibrant aspect of parish life. The rite provides formation in Catholic identity and mission of the Church, sacramental life and liturgy.
By its nature the RCIA involves the whole parish community through welcoming, instruction, support, nurturing and prayer.
|Received into the Church in 2013 were from left: Amy Grech, Carmen Curtis and Gemma Allsopp. Photo: Norman Heffernan|
Since 1986, 319 new Catholics have been received into St Nicholas’ faith community through the RCIA. This is a compelling witness of Catholic faith, especially as many of these people are active members of the parish community.
Julie Wharerau spoke of her personal experience 2011. She said the RCIA process nurtured and supported her personal faith journey and her professional life working in Family Community Services for a Christian faith-based organisation.
This year’s RCIA Mass is one of many celebrations at St Nicholas of Myra Parish during this special time in its history. In addition to the Opening Mass earlier this year, the celebrations continued with a parish picnic, mission reflection day, mini fun day, talent night and formal dinner dance.
A book will also be published commemorating parish life since the sesquicentenary, which was celebrated in 1989.
On Sunday 7 December, the Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, will be the principal celebrant for the closing Mass for the 175th anniversary.
This year is a year of spiritual renewal for the parish. It is an opportunity to ignite the light of faith in a parish that recognises that ordinary people in ordinary places can make a difference to the lives of others through faith and actions.
Expressed in this milestone is St Nicholas of Myra Parish whose being is the enduring faith journey of a place continually striving in their Jubilee Prayer, Grounded in Faith, Living in Hope, Growing in Love.For more information about the jubilee year celebrations at St Nicholas of Myra Penrith Parish visit: www.stnicholasofmyra.org.au
Subscribe to E-News to be notified by email of the Latest Diocesan News
« Return to news list