New foundation stone for new Jurien Bay church building
Moora Parish Administrator Fr Renald Anthony blesses the foundation stone on 6 September. Photo: Supplied.
Moora parishioners at Jurien Bay have this month gathered for the blessing and burying of its foundation stone, which marks the location of the much-anticipated church, on 6 September.
Parish Administrator Father Renald Anthony commemorated the blessing, praying for a safe and successful church building process.
The significant event marked "a long wait" for a realisation on a promise of a new church for the local community, made by then-Archbishop Barry Hickey when he visited in 1995.
"The foundation stone has been laid to erect a new church in Jurien Bay, which is part of Moora Parish," Fr Anthony told The eRecord.
"We hope by building the new church, we will have a community of faith, who can practice their faith, and of love."
Buried under the exact location of the altar in the proposed new church building, which is under the patronage of Our Lady Star of the Sea, a small marker will be placed in the floor of the church to acknowledge the location of the stone.
The new Jurien Bay church building project started several years ago, however, only officially began in 2018 when Fr Chris Webb, former Moora Parish Administrator, formed a local committee to develop a brief for the construction of the new church.
Guided by personnel from the Catholic Archdiocese of Perth Administration Centre, the brief was finally approved by the Archdiocesan Resources Committee after many months of work.
The Catholic community of Jurien Bay and visitors witnessed the historic occasion on 6 September. Photo: Supplied.
John Willett, a Moora parishioner who is involved with the local committee, said the Catholic community Jurien Bay needs a church of its own.
Mr Willett mentioned that the community has been attending Mass for first, third and fourth Sundays of the month in a small chapel at the back of the Jurien Bay Presbyterian House with Fr Anthony.
On each second Sunday of the month, the community would need to travel to St John Ambulance Hall Catholic Church in Cervantes, an 18-minute drive from Jurien Bay, to celebrate Sunday Mass.
Supported by the Archdiocese, with the help of local community fundraising, the new church at Jurien Bay is expected to be completed before Easter next year.
"We are hoping that [the new church] will be a place where people can worship and receive the Sacraments,” Mr Willet said.
"At the moment, there is no way for baptisms, weddings and funerals. For Christmas and Easter, and other times when there were big crowds of people, we had to use the local community centre.
"We hope this will become a focal point for the community," he added.
Fr Anthony, continuing the work done by Fr Webb, will administer the completion stage of the project.
"The blessing and burying of the stone signalled that work will commence shortly and will provide an opportunity for many local community members and businesses to engage in this historical development," Mr Willett concluded.