On the 16th of October, members of the St Vincent de Paul Executive had the opportunity to attend a Diocesan Mission Mass held at St Patricks Cathedral in Parramatta. This mass celebrated 175 years of Catholic mission, and was attended by students and teachers from several primary and secondary schools in the diocese.
Upon arrival, we made our way into the cathedral where we took part in a traditional Catholic mass led by Rev Fr Paul Roberts. Monsignor Ron McFarlane, from St Andrews parish, also assisted in the proceedings.
This mass was very traditional and everyone felt particularly touched by Rev Fr Paul Robert’s homily, he was insightful, inspiring and empowering in his speech regarding church mission. The frequent use of organs and hymns in the mass, particularly during the responsorial psalms and communion rite, created a very reverent atmosphere which was appreciated by all who attended.
Following the mass, the congregation heard a speech from Ms Roza Vukovich from the Catholic Mission organisation. Ms Vukovich shared her personal mission experiences, and also provided us with some insight into the great impact of mission. One particularly significant and inspiring moment in her speech was when she stated that, through mission work ‘you are inspiring others, but really, they are inspiring you.’
At approximately 12 noon, the congregation moved to the cathedral cloister area where we recited the Angelus together, before having a delicious lunch. During lunch, we also participated in a Mission expo where schools in the diocese had the opportunity to set up table displays to present information about their evangelisation activities. Throughout this time, we spoke to people from other schools about the various activities we participate in at St Andrews College. It was great to see many students from other schools so interested in our school’s work, particularly the Valentine’s Day and Shrove Tuesday fundraisers. Following the expo, we watched a short video presentation from Catholic Mission, inspiring further evangelisation.
Soon after this, we boarded the bus ready to travel back to school. Despite the minor tyre mishap that occurred on the journey, we all arrived back at school in time for the dismissal bell, feeling both exhausted and inspired by the great day that was.
On behalf of the Vinnie’s Executive, I would like to thank Mrs Melki, Religious Education Coordinator, for allowing us this opportunity. I would also like to thank the dedicated staff members who transported us to and from the venue. The excursion was an invaluable experience and we all learned some very important lessons which we will undoubtedly put into use in our future mission work.
Year 12 St Vincent de Paul Executive