Inaugural Mass and Luncheon Fundraiser
The renovations are complete but debts still need to be repaid and last weekend the faithful gathered to celebrate a special fundraising gala Mass and luncheon at Sts Peter and Paul’s Old Cathedral in Goulburn.
The events came 12 months after last year’s reopening of the Old Cathedral that marked the completion of the extensive 40 year renovations to the church.
Principal celebrant for Saturday’s Mass was Fr Tony Percy, currently parish priest St Gregory’s Queanbeyan and a member of the Old Cathedral’s restoration committee.
The Mass was concelebrated by Archdiocesan Vicar General Fr Richard Thompson, current Goulburn parish priest Fr Joshy Kurien, his assistant priest Fr Hilary Rotich, and Fr William Milsted (Supply Apostolic). Fr Joshua Scott from the Queanbeyan parish was the Master of Ceremonies.
The faithful came from as far afield as Brisbane and Sydney and locally from throughout the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn to participate on the weekend.
Fittingly the celebrations took place on the day of the Catholic Church’s Feast of the Dedication of the Basilicas of Sts Peter and Paul in Rome.
Speakers at the luncheon that followed the Mass included restoration committee chair, Dr Ursula Stephens, benefactor Tim Kirk, artist Sue Orchison, and Fr Percy.
In his luncheon remarks, Fr Percy said the ultimate goal was for the Old Cathedral to become a place of pilgrimage, both for the faithful and those perhaps pondering faith for the first time.
The world “keeps secularising”, he said. People need to be able to come to places like the Old Cathedral to have “an experience” to help them have “more stability in their lives”.
But, he added, for that to happen the $3 million debt that had accrued from the renovations needed to be paid down and funding provided for the Old Cathedral’s ongoing maintenance.
James Power, a benefactor and visitor from Brisbane at Saturday’s celebration, also underlined how the generosity of donors was needed for that deeper purpose.
“[We] know we’re investing in a building that will be there for the centuries ahead, for people to worship in and come closer to Christ,” Mr Power said in comments to the Catholic Voice.
For Goulburn Mayor Peter Walker, Sts Peter and Paul’s also had wider significance.
“It’s iconic to Goulburn,” the Mayor told the Catholic Voice.
“I’d encourage anybody, anybody of any religion to come along and have a look at the restoration that’s been done.
“Come and have a look. It’s magnificent,” he said.
Donations to Sts Peter and Paul’s Old Cathedral Goulburn can be made at https://give-aus.keela.co/sts-peter-and-pauls-goulburn
All donations are tax deductible.
Audio tours are available on the following website: