You're the proverbial "card-carrying" member of our parish. You may have been here for just a few months or more than fifty years, or somewhere in between, but there's something about this old parish you've come to love.
The parish has grown from a small rural outpost of Sydney to become at one stage the largest parish in New South Wales. After being ranked fourth largest nationally in the 2006 Commonwealth census, it most probably grew to subsequent years to become the second largest parish in Australia. But whatever the numbers size has probably never really mattered to you anyway. However, with the establishment of Oran Park in mid 2015, the parish declined in size by about 20%
The parish, as you know, has been there for some of the most pivotal, the most significant and the most memorable times of your lives.
Your children have been to the parish school, and perhaps your grandchildren are now at one of our parish schools. You were married in the chapel or more recently the church. The names of your children and grandchildren will be found in the baptism register and in the confirmation register. Some of your loved ones will be listed in the Liber Defunctorum, the Book of the Dead.
You have been visited by the priests and have been comforted by your fellow parishioners. You've prayed together to God in both praise and petition. You have a deep devotion to Sunday Mass, and you've received absolution and new life in the Spirit.
Notwithstanding what has been written about the church and its members, and notwithstanding the multitude of personalities that can sometimes make life more challenging than necessary, you've been here the whole time.
You've given your friendly and supportive presence, your love, and your own personal resources. You've responded to the pastoral, liturgical and financial needs of the parish, as well as to the many financial appeals that are so worthy of our support.
You rarely ask for acknowledgement and thanks as you consider yourself to be blessed to be part of our parish.
You probably have no idea, but you truly are one of our living parish treasures. And without you, our parish would not be quite what it is today. We thank you, and pray for the grace and blessings of our loving God to be with you always.