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News from Gladstone

19 October, 2021
Students from St Francis Catholic Primary School, Tannum Sands dramatize a story about St Francis of Assisi during an outdoor Feast Day Mass

MenAlive weekend – October 2021

About 40 men gathered this weekend at Calliope exploring the Father in God’s eyes and reflected on their own lives as fathers, sons, husbands.

The photo shows them gathering for discussions, talks and small groups, spending quality time together. The day culminated with the Eucharist.

Facilitated by a team of six and headed by Josh Ariens and Tim Connolly, the MenAlive weekend was a success and the hope is for the men to continue touching base from time to time through social and formation ministry.

Feast Day celebrated

An outdoor beachside Mass was the highlight of celebrations for the St Francis Catholic Primary School community in Tannum Sands as they came together to mark the feast day of the school’s patron saint, St Francis of Assisi on the final day of Term 3.  Held at picturesque Canoe Point, staff and students joined with families and members of the wider school and parish communities surrounded by God’s beautiful creation which is foundational to the charism of St Francis.

Assistant Parish Priest Fr Ashwin Acharya presided at the uplifting and joyous liturgy, his first Mass with the school community as principal celebrant after his ordination to the priesthood.

The Mass was also a response to Pope Francis’ call for participation in the ecumenical celebration of the 2021 Season of Creation which commenced on September 1 and finished on October 4, the official feast date of St Francis of Assisi. During Mass students acted out one of the many stories about St Francis, St Francis and the Turtle Doves, illustrating his commitment to walking gently on the earth and inviting all to reflect on our call to environmental stewardship.

Mass was followed by shared lunch and beach activities which included using shells and pebbles to write messages from the Making Jesus Real program, creating and decorating sand sculptures of the Franciscan Tau Cross, and building miniature huts from bark and driftwood as shelters for St Francis and the Franciscan Brothers.

SOS Youth events: 2021

After a few travelled to Ignite conference, we returned to play win it in a minute for fun and learn that the saint who are our champions in heaven are cheering us on as our team members did.

Our youth leadership team is preparing our first SOS Youth retreat in mid-November, Soul Survivor. This weekend will include survivor challenges physically, spiritually and temporally. High school aged young people are invited to a BBQ dinner and Fire in order to encounter each other.

Both Fr Ashwin and Fr Andrew and four other leaders will guide the weekend.  Tanyalla conference setting, Tannum, will form our base for Saturday then the local beach and St Francis School for remaining part.

Fr Ashwin on board at SOS

 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

It’s been blessing to have two wonderful and vibrant priests to minister and shepherd us. Father Ashwin became Assistant Priest at SOS Gladstone at the beginning of September and has already joined us in so many ministries and activities.  He has also now participated in all mass centres across Gladstone and is fitting in well with old and young alike.

Here are some photos capturing Father Ashwin’s experience thus far of SOS. From attending rock climbing at youth group, ministering to SOS youth before Ignite, celebrating our local festivals and joining us in fellowship. We are so glad Father Ashwin has become part of our community. Welcome Father Ashwin.