This weekend we celebrate sixty years since Cardinal Gilroy blessed and opened our parish church.
From early times the name “church” has also been given to the building in which the Christian community gathers to hear the word of God, to pray together, to celebrate the sacraments, and to participate in the eucharist.
Ceremonial of Bishops, no. 864
We call our building a church because it is the place the Church prays and worships. In this way, the church building is both the “house of God” and the house of the people of God. Christ is present in both the building and the people; thus our church should be both a place that is fitting for the praise of God and reflective of the parish community that gathers here.
Much of our parish’s history and life has been played out within the walls of this building. Unlike many parish churches, all seven sacraments have been celebrated here over the past sixty years, including the ordinations of deacons and priests. The rest of our parish’s story, which has taken place beyond the walls of the church, has been nourished and sustained by our prayer and worship within the walls. The celebration of the Eucharist forms us and leads us out to mission.
The past sixty years has seen our building grow and change as we have as a Church. Looking back over photos of the church shows that it is noticeably different to what it was when it opened, and has in fact changed in almost every one of the past six decades. Perhaps the courage of those who went before us, who built this church and shaped it to serve our community and its worship, can serve to remind us that we too must be courageous in our faith as we look ahead to the sixty years to come.