Golden Jubilee the epitome of unity, communion and friendship
St Joseph’s Parish at O’Connor is the epitome of unity, communion and friendship, administrator Fr Anthony Riosa said as the parish celebrated its golden jubilee at the end of last month.
On 28 October, the community marked fifty years to the day since the church was first opened and consecrated in 1973. It all began in a quirk of fortune when the proceeds from a winning ticket in the Sydney Opera House lottery of 1972 were used to design and construct the blue-stone church with its Irish Celtic influences – debt free.
“Under the patronage of St Joseph, the Gracious Lord has been good and generous providing guidance and blessings to the community of believers,” Fr Riosa said.
“Truly, as a milestone golden years of God’s divine providence, an event to reminisce and look forward to the bounteous graces that God would give in the time to come.”
The parish celebrated the momentous occasion as a ‘Multicultural Day’ with prayers, stall showcasing, performances and a concert.
“With the participation from the different cultures, we celebrated the event with Eucharistic Adoration followed by the Thanksgiving Mass presided by the Vicar General Fr Richard Thompson with priest concelebrants,” Fr Riosa said.
“Right after the Mass, we had the unveiling of the First Nations Australians Acknowledgment Plaque. The event concluded with a recital by Donna Maree-Dunlop, a former principal artist of the Opera Australia.”
Fr Riosa said during his four months at the inner north parish he had greatly appreciated the unique nature of the community.
“The special character of the parish community is her composition as a multicultural and devotional community,” he explained.
“With God’s providence, the great success of the Golden Jubilee comes from the fruit of the participation, cooperation and generosity of the members of the community.”
Fr Riosa said his hope for the future was that the parish remain an inclusive community, “welcoming people journeying with one another.”
“In the years to come, this spirit of inclusivity will always remain and a sign of a Eucharistic community, walking with one another in the spirit of synodality,” he said.
“For over 50 years, in my opinion, it is the acceptance of change that is the transformation of minds and hearts in various aspects of life of the parish and faith community – like governance, status of parishioners and the adaptation of the global reality hand-in-hand with challenges in the Catholic religion in the contemporary world.”