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Parishes called to the mission of being a people who are Christian
East Victoria Park Parishioners gathered for the parish feast day on Sunday 31 October. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
By Jamie O'Brien
Every parish has a mission to be a people who listen for the Spirit's voice and what the Spirit is asking of us as a community, said Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton last Sunday 31 October.
Speaking to the parishioners of East Victoria Park on the occasion of the Parish feast day, Bishop Sproxton was joined by concelebrants Parish Priest Fr Nicholas Nweke, Vicar for Clergy Fr Brian McKenna, Vicar for Education and Adult Faith Formation Fr Vincent Glynn and Office of the Permanent Diaconate Director, Fr Peter Bianchini.
More than 350 parishioners gathered for the occasion which also saw Bishop Sproxton bless a new statue of Our Lady Help of Christians, patroness of Australia at the conclusion of the Mass and commissioning of the new parish youth group.
Acolytes, clergy and members of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher came together with parishioners of East Victoria Park parish on Sunday 31 October. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
Bishop Don Sproxton blesses the new statue of Our Lady Help of Christians at the East Victoria Park parish feast day, Sunday 31 October. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton has said every parish has a mission to be a people who are a Christian. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
Knights and Dames from the Equestrian Order of Knights of the Holy Sepulchre were also present for the occasion.
Continuing his homily, Bishop Don said every parish has a mission to be a people who are a Christian.
“To be a people who live with joy because we know that we are loved, because that's one of the things that we hear in this beautiful prayer the Shema.
The Shema is the Jewish confession of faith made up of three scriptural texts which, together with appropriate prayers, forms an integral part of the morning and evening services.
“That we can love, because we understand that we were loved first, that God has loved us first.
“It is because of that, that we begin to know and understand what love is and then we're able then to love others around us.
Speaking about the Gospel reading, Bishop Don explained that when Jesus gave this answer to the scribe, he also added a text from the Book of Leviticus.
“That is that you must love your neighbor as yourself. Knowing that love has come to us first, has come seeking us first.
“Love is the reason why we can see the goodness of the work of the spirit in our lives and we can give thanks and it gives us the capacity to see those around us in our lives, equally loved by God, equally treasured by God, and is a reason in turn for us to love them.”
The Mass was also the first time the parish youth co-ordinated a number of pieces of music for the service, showing tremendous talent with renditions of Hallelujah and Amazing Grace.
Members of the new East Victoria Parish youth group Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
The new parish youth group coordinated some of the music for the East Victoria Park Parish feast day on Sunday 31 October. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
East Victoria Park Parish Priest Fr Nicholas Nweke with members of the newly commissioned parish youth group. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
Parish Priest Fr Nicholas Nweke, who has been in the role for the past 12 months, told The Record he was most overjoyed by the occasion.
“It has been a very special moment for all of us, to have Bishop Don and my fellow clergy visit us, as well as the blessing of the statue and the commissioning of our youth team.
“This is a very vibrant parish and the experiences of COVID have taught us to have hope, hope in the Lord and each other as brothers and sisters in Christ,” he said.