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News from North Rockhampton

16 September, 2021
Kurtis Andrews, Barb Cavanagh, Barbara Bickhoff, Fr Marcel Kujur and Del Leitgeb

SVDP recognises the Outstanding Service of Barbara Bickhoff

Barb Bickhoff, a member of the Holy Family Conference since 1991, is a wonderful Vincentian with a 30 year involvement with the Holy Family Conference.  For many years, she has been a member of the Executive, performing the role of Secretary, which she still does today. Barb actively started with the Holy Family Conference providing home deliveries of food and visiting the poor and marginalised, for example.  Being part of the local ‘Homeless Connect’ event every year, Barb has always been in attendance helping ‘at the coalface’ when Christmas Hampers are needing volunteers, including the control of COVID instructions, being responsible for the counting of items and determining what groceries are needed to order from the supermarket and the packing of hampers. In addition to being a member of the Holy Family Conference she is also a member and active volunteer for the St Camillus Conference – a Special Works Conference running Rockhampton’s Support Centre; she is the Vice-President.

As a volunteer for Lifeline for over forty years (finishing 2020), Barb assisted ‘on the phone’ as well as being available for Emergency Relief when a disaster stuck somewhere in Queensland.  She would then be packing her bags, leaving home in under 24 hours and sometimes be away for weeks.

Barb really espouses her Christian values in all aspects of her life, seeing the face of God in all she meets. She is a wonderful example of someone who follows the Society’s motto of “A hand up, not a handout” and is completely dedicated to helping the poor and others in need.

Celebrating the Sacraments Covid-19 Style

Due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020, none of the Sacraments for primary school-aged children were celebrated.  This resulted in the North Rockhampton Catholic Community having approximately 150 candidates this year.

The children who attended Catholic schools celebrated their First Reconciliation in school time while the Second Rite was celebrated with the non-Catholic school children after school.  Parents were invited to be with their children. We were able to have three separate nights when the candidates were Confirmed.

When the time for First Holy Communion arrived, the children were able to nominate a parish Mass in July or August and celebrate with the parish family.  Because of the smaller groups, the children were invited to join Father Marcel (or the visiting priest) in the Sanctuary for the Consecration. Many parishioners mentioned that the children were especially blessed to receive their First Holy Communion in the Sanctuary.