Week Seven: Archbishop’s Pastoral Parish visits

Carmel Mcquire and Hayley Stonham

Rene and Annette Jose

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish North Belconnen was delighted to welcome Archbishop Christopher Prowse this morning. He made a relaxed and brief visit in support of all those recently affected by the Covid pandemic.

Representatives of both our primary schools Saint Monica’s Evatt and Saint Michael’s Kaleen, attended, as well as about sixty parishioners. A reflective prayerful Mass was concelebrated by Fr Loi Viovicente, Fr Johnny Abraham, and Archbishop Christopher.

Mass was followed by morning tea set up by Carmel Maguire and Damian Webb, the Principals from our local schools. It was an excellent opportunity for the Archbishop to ‘mix and mingle’ with members of the Parish Council, School Communities, Legion of Mary, Men Alive Group, and a broad range of parishioners.

In sharing on the effects of the Covid lockdown, people reflected on the response and energy of all those involved throughout the Parish by delivering Parish bulletins, making phone calls, checking on the frail and elderly, and providing live streamed Masses locally and throughout the Diocese.

Simultaneously, people reflected on pastoral provisions that had to be implemented, such as the dispensation to attend weekly Mass, changes in the celebrations of sacraments, particularly baptism and marriage, changes in Parish finances, and directions to comply with government and state regulations.

Archbishop Christopher’s overriding message was that it had been a great time to remind people of who God is. Although circumstances may change, God doesn’t change, and by our calm presence, our compassion, our concern, our connectedness, the people of God have been called upon to be more active than ever and to be calm amidst the storm.

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