On Saturday 17 November 2012, members of several Family Groups from the Frenchs Forest Catholic Parish journeyed to St. Brigid’s for celebrations of 125 years since the arrival of the Passionists at Marrickville. The afternoon commenced with a Mass at 2.00 pm, which encompassed a portrayal of the Passionists’ work with a large variety of people from various backgrounds and cultures.
The Mass was celebrated by Fr Joachim Rego cp, the newly elected Superior General of the Passionist Order, assisted by St. Brigid’s Pastor, Fr. John Pearce cp, Fr Tom McDonough cp, Provincial Australia/PNG, Fr Pat Duffy cp, Provincial St Patrick’s Province and some fifteen other Passionist Priests, including Fr Kevin Dance cp and Fr Tony Egar cp who are both well known to the St Anthony’s congregation.
To describe the event, one would have to possess the eloquence of an accomplished writer which I am not. However let it suffice to say, that it contained the elements of solemnity, spirituality, festivity, remembrance, commemoration, pageantry, a sprinkling of oratory, impressive processions and incredibly beautiful singing by the St. Brigid’s choir, finishing the service with an inspiring rendition of Mendelssohn’s Hallelujah Chorus.
Following Mass, there was a magnificent multi-cultural Garden Party put on by the St. Brigid’s parishioners in the adjoining grounds. We were invited to a large variety of both sweet and savoury home-made treats and enjoyed the colourful and enchanting performance by a group of Tongan children of various ages. The MA’uLu’ulu was performed by a mixed group of boys and girls to the accompaniment of native drums. During the afternoon we each had the opportunity to speak with many Passionists including, of course, our much loved previous Pastors of St. Anthony’s – Frs Tom and Tony. There were also new Passionist Priests to meet such as Fr Jacob from PNG. It was also a special occasion to greet Fr Joachim and to meet his parents, George and Celina Rego; truly beautiful humble, warm and most friendly people. Fr Joachim will soon leave for Rome to take up his new position as head of the Passionist Order.
What a blessing and a privilege it was to be a part of this tremendously significant occasion.
St. Anthony in the Fields