Message from Fr Sean Cullen | 11 December 2021
December 18, 2021
This is the final weekly message in my time as Administrator of Holy Family Parish.
As you know, Fr. Henry Adler will take up his appointment as Parish Priest on 1st January, 2022.
It goes without saying that 2020/2021 have been difficult years. Of course, the onset of COVID19 has thrown our lives into a whole new way of existence, and we especially remember those who have lost their lives with the virus. Additionally, the parish of Holy Family has had to adjust to the retirement of Fr. Peter, who ministered here faithfully for 36 years, and his subsequent death not long into his retirement.
It was wonderful for the parish to come together last Friday evening in the presence of Bishop Mascord and Fr. Peter’s family to celebrate Mass in his memory and to thank God for his dedicated service to the parish.
My task here was to make ready the parish for the appointment of a new parish priest. This has thrown up many challenges, not least a number of lockdowns which stopped any momentum we had been building.
Much of the work undertaken has been material: attention to multiple issues in the new Church, relocation of the parish office, demolition of the presbytery, acquiring land for a new presbytery and many other maintenance concerns around the parish site. However, pastoral care and support is at the heart of parish life. Again, COVID put paid to having any significant gatherings, but we have managed to establish a Parish Finance Committee and Parish Pastoral Council, both of which are operating effectively. The liturgical and devotional life of the parish has also been disjointed because of COVID, but there are now servers/acolytes at all Masses, choirs/musicians rostered for most Masses and more people joining the various ministries. Flower arrangers deserve special mention for enhancing the beauty of the Church.
I will be here to celebrate the Midnight Mass at Christmas, and my final Mass will be Sunday 26th December at 9am.
I want to thank you all for the welcome you offered me on arrival and for the kindness you have expressed while ministering here in Holy Family. I apologise I could not be more present during this time, but know you understand the circumstance of the appointment.
I will miss the diversity of your community and the perseverance of your sincere faith during these difficult times. There are many part of the one body but I hope you will be united in your vision for the development of a vibrant Catholic community in this area of our Diocese. There is so much to be done to further spread the gospel of Jesus right here in your parish. I pray that God will provide you with abundant blessings to bring your work to fulfilment.
Please look after Fr. Henry and continue to pray for your priests.
Know that you are very welcome in Bowral/Mittagong at any time. God bless.