News from the Central West12 May, 2022
April was a busy month in the West. Fr Shaiju was finally able to return home to India to visit and friends. We were blessed in his absence by the presence of Fr Terry Loth. Fr Terry has previously spent many years based in Longreach as an Assistant Priest, Parish Priest and in the Western Pastoral Ministry role. Many older parishioners, as well as fellow pilots, enjoyed catching up with Fr Terry again. Parishioners of all ages also benefited from Fr Terry’s catechesis and ability to easily share his vast knowledge of church history and liturgical practice.
After Easter Bishop Michael came for a whirlwind tour of some of our smaller communities. The first full Church of his visit was for the funeral of treasured Alpha woman, Daphne Tilse. Her Requiem Mass was a beautiful blend of thanksgiving and prayer, with many personal and fitting touches woven through the liturgy.
The next ‘full house’ was when St John’s Church in Aramac came alive for the Confirmation of five of it’s young people. The heavy clouds in the sky did nothing to dampen the excitement as they embraced a Church full of people, lively music and the sounds of young children once again playing on the lawn. Afterwards many people stayed to enjoy a BBQ dinner and decedent cake all arranged by the children’s mothers.
The heavy clouds followed Bishop Michael, causing a few detours as he ventured south of Longreach. In Isisford, Confirmation plans were altered as one family were unable to get to town due to the heavy rain. Three sisters from another family did make it to town, so Confirmation for these girls went ahead despite the constant downpour. Bishop Michael was then able to be a part of the local ANZAC Day commemorations before the town became isolated by flood waters.
World Day of Prayer at Blackall
It certainly was a memorable night as we thoroughly enjoyed being together in this special space in solidarity for England, Northern Ireland and Wales and their hopes and dreams. I felt the deep sense of gratitude that we could gather as one and pray for the intentions of these countries and the world’s current horrific state of conflict especially in Ukraine.
Just a few photos that may represent this beautiful evening of prayer which we enjoyed with fellow Christians at St. Patrick’s recently for the World Day of Prayer.
We deeply regret that we were unable to participate in our usual meal afterwards but look forward to better times ahead next year.