10,000 Christmas Mass invites go out to Queanbeyan residents
Throughout the Queanbeyan region, St Gregory’s parishioners are pounding the pavement to invite local residents to join them at Christmas Mass.
Armed with 10,000 printed cards, the parish community hopes to reach those in need of peace and love this festive season.
Pastoral Council president Tony Carey said the letterbox drop was the latest in a raft of initiatives designed to support the wider community.
“We trying to reach out to people who may not be engaged with the church for whatever reason,” he explained.
“We are doing that in a number of ways. We are trying to increase the number of visitations to people in nursing homes, or anyone who might be lonely at home. And I hope to see that we do that for everyone – Catholic or non-Catholic – just friendly faces and visits to people who are lonely.”
The council is also working to address the provision of services to younger people.
“We have commenced a Christian meditation group in the past two years, and that is now growing quite steadily,” Mr Carey said.
“So, this Christmas Mass invitation is a further part of the package, suggested by Fr Tony Percy, to reach out to people who may or may not be Catholics and who might like to celebrate Christmas for the reason of Christmas – the birth of Jesus.”
To launch the initiative, the council sourced maps of the parish on the internet and broke them into bite-sized pieces.
“We put the maps on a table in the church and just said at Mass that we needed help to distribute these cards. And we have had a really good response. Without all the unsung heroes who have volunteered their time, this wouldn’t work.” Mr Carey said.
“It is a pretty engaged parish. The city of Queanbeyan has always had a real sense of community, and it has got a real diverse range of people. I just hope this is an opportunity to bring a sense of peace to people, because we need peace right now. I think this is a chance to say there’s a meaning to Christmas, and that is the birth of a baby whose message is peace and love. And that’s the simplicity of our faith, isn’t it?”
Mr Carey said the simple invitation was for anyone and everyone to join the parish family and friends to celebrate.
“With a bit of luck, we will drop these in 10,000 letter boxes, and who knows what reaction we will get?” he said.
“Maybe some people will say, ‘Oh, that would be nice’ and come along. I do think people are yearning for a bit of peace in life. There is so much strife going on. And this is just one way of saying ‘Hey, we are thinking of you. You are welcome. Come and join us.’”