Friendship group ‘energises’ parishioners
By Matthew Biddle
THE Mary Help of Christians Parish Friendship Group based in Pearce celebrated its 25th anniversary on September 18, with more than 60 people attending the celebrations.
In a pleasant surprise, Pearce parish priest Fr Richard Thompson presented the group with a framed Papal blessing for the occasion.
One of the group’s organisers Faye Gluhak said the celebrations were thoroughly enjoyed by all.
“It was so successful and inspiring,” she said. “It was wonderful to see so many faces.”
The friendship group meets most Thursdays for two hours to work together on various local, parish or overseas projects.
Fr Richard said the group helped “energise” some of the elderly members of the parish through selfless works of charity and friendship.
“The friendship group offers practical and prayerful support to individuals and groups by gently using their individual and collective talents,” he said.
“They prepare prayer kits for all our kindergarten children at the beginning of each year; they have made over 1,000 rosaries for distribution through the Sisters of Charity; they recycle stamps for the Missions; they prepare our parish’s donations to the Samaritan’s Purse Christmas Child appeal, just to mention a few of their projects.
“Most importantly they create a space where the dignity of the elderly can flourish without prejudice.”
The group also keeps in regular contact with the nearby North Woden Parish and the St George Anglican Church, Ms Gluhak said.
“We raise money for special projects and meet socially with them, and we help each other,” she said. “This interaction between us is just wonderful and has helped us all to grow and have a better understanding of each other.”
Fr Richard and Ms Gluhak both encouraged other parishes to consider forming a friendship group where parishioners can work together in a social setting.
“No matter how young or old you are, you can make a difference to another person’s life,” Ms Gluhak said.