It was indeed a day of celebration and sadness on Sunday 16 August 2020 at Holy Family Catholic Parish in Ingleburn as their parish priest of 36 years, Fr Peter Caruana, celebrated his 50th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood. Fr Peter was appointed parish priest of Holy Family Catholic Parish Ingleburn in 1984 and has faithfully served the Ingleburn and Minto communities—nurturing and watching them grow over the years.
No one can deny Fr Peter’s commitment to Jesus and his Church and to his role as a priest, especially his love for celebrating the Mass and other sacraments. As detailed in the parish’s 50th anniversary celebration book: “When we watch him celebrate the Eucharist, there can be no doubt in our mind that a miracle has taken place as the bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. If he never did anything else but that, he would have fulfilled his vocation as a priest!” However, one only has to look at the beautiful church at Ingleburn that he and the parish spent 27 years diligently saving for and building to understand with some semblance the impact and dedication Fr Peter has had on the parish.
“Set yourselves close to him so that you too, the holy priesthood that offers the spiritual sacrifices which Jesus Christ has made acceptable to God, may be living stones making a spiritual house.” 1 PETER 2:4–5
However, 16 August 2020 will also go down in parish history as a day of sadness as it was the last Mass that Fr Peter celebrated as their parish priest. In accordance with canon law, having reached the age of 75 years, Fr Peter tendered his resignation from the parish which was accepted by Bishop Brian Mascord.
Fr Peter’s resignation became effective on Monday 17 August 2020 and Fr Sean Cullen has been appointed the new administrator of the parish—providing the pastoral and administrative care for the parish—quite a task as he is also the parish priest at Bowral and Mittagong.
Fr Peter’s 50th anniversary farewell Mass was celebrated at 11:00am on Sunday 16 August 2020 (you can watch the Mass above) at Holy Family Catholic Church Ingleburn. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only a limited number of parishioners were able to attend.
We congratulate Fr Peter and thank him for his faithful service to the people of God in Ingleburn and Minto for the past 36 years and for his 50 years of service as a priest, and we pray that he enjoys some rest during his retirement years. What an achievement! As Scripture says: “Set yourselves close to him so that you too, the holy priesthood that offers the spiritual sacrifices which Jesus Christ has made acceptable to God, may be living stones making a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:4–5).
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Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.