Coota’s 100 reasons to celebrate

A centenary book was launched at Cootamundra’s Sacred Heart Parish to mark 100 years since the beginning of the cathedral-sized red-brick church in Morris Street.

People gathered from distances near and far to celebrate the grand old church, which was built by Fr Terrence O’Shaunnessy, the parish priest from 1910 to 1933.


Cootamundra’s Sacred Heart school captains Joshua Deep and Kate Alderman receive the centenary book from Mick Howse, much to the delight of Fr Joshy Kurien. Picture: John McLaurin.

Earlier this year on June 24, parish priest Fr Joshy Kurien received an apostolic blessing from Pope Francis on behalf of the parish and himself to mark the occasion.

Sacred Heart Central School principal Janet Cartwright was commissioned by Fr Kurien to be the driving force behind the book.

She worked all the text and layout and got help compiling photos from Fr James Anthony CMI, Fr Kurien and a number of parishioners.

“It’s been a mammoth task but I have enjoyed it, collecting all the stories,” she said.

“Thanks to everyone who has contributed; it’s certainly a team effort.”

She singled out parish secretary Leah Sutherland for scanning many of the photos for the book.

Fr Kurien paid tribute to Mrs Cartwright for her dedication in making sure the book was completed in time for the centenary.

The book ‘Heart Speaks to Heart’, is largely a pictorial glimpse of the parish over the past century.

Long-time parishioner Mick Howse presented a copy of the book to Sacred Heart School Captains Joshua Deep and Kate Alderman.

Mr Howse re-lived a story about being an altar-boy when the Mercy Hospital was opened and how he was disappointed not to be picked as the cross-bearer. “Without any further hesitation I declare the book launched,” he said.

Earlier in the weekend, 23 students made their First Holy Communion with Vicar General Fr Tony Percy main celebrant at Mass.

On Saturday morning, parishioners met at the cemetery to pay their respects to the pioneer Catholics of the town.

Celebrations continued on Saturday evening with Archbishop Christopher Prowse present to Confirm 26 children at the Vigil Mass.

Archbishop Prowse congratulated the parish on its milestone and offered hope and encouragement .

Archbishop Prowse has a foreword in the new book, which comes in the form of a letter, sent to Fr Kurien and members of the parish. It reads:

“I commend Fr Joshy Kurien and the parishioners who have made this a moment: of thanksgiving to God for all His many blessings over the past 100 years.”

He encouraged the parish to become a “permanent mission – a platform whereby fresh and new missionary zeal can take us into a new century of hope in the Lord Jesus”.

Sacred Heart Parish has a number of copies of the centenary book available at $20 each. To purchase a copy call the parish on (02) 6942 2514.

Available at $20 each.
To purchase a copy please call the parish on (02) 6942 2514.