A Tale of Two Churches
Sarah Keary lived with her family in a tent by the railway track in the 1920’s as her father was a railway fettler in the Riverina.
Everything changed when she went to Mrs Pieper as a live-in housekeeper at the Pieper’s farm in the Ganmain district.
Life there was homely and when it became known that young Sarah and Mrs Pieper’s son, Cyril, intended to marry, the parish priest told Sarah that she could not marry him because he was not a Catholic.
So they became the parents of ten little Methodists, my husband Garry being the eighth. He remembers his mother, Sarah, and grandmother saying the rosary together.
Sarah was buried in 2002, by the Uniting minister and a Catholic priest.
I was the eighth child of John and Thelma Monaghan. They were very devoted Catholics. When I mentioned to my mother that Garry wasn’t a Catholic, she had two questions. “Are you marrying a person or a religion? Has he got a good heart?”
After fifty-one years married, I think the answer to that one is “Yes”.
Each weekend in Braidwood we attend St Bede’s Catholic and St Andrews Uniting churches. No one seems to have a problem with that. Along with the Anglican Church, the three churches in Braidwood have a radio program each Sunday night at 6pm that reaches out to our community.
At this time of Advent, I have always thought churches are like a bus, taking like-minded people to Heaven. The benefits of attending two churches: two Christmases, two Easters, double the blessings, double the prayer team, and double the love.
- Helen Pieper is a parishioner at St Bede’s Braidwood