Locals celebrate Boorowa’s milestone

By Matthew Biddle 

CLERGY, religious, parishioners and guests celebrated the 150th anniversary of St Patrick’s Parish in Boorowa on November 22.

About 300 people attended Mass for the occasion, which was celebrated by Archbishop Christopher Prowse and Young Mission priests Fr Tom Thornton and Fr Paul Nulley.

Several other Archdiocesan priests were present for the occasion, as were a number of Sisters of Mercy, representing members of the Order who had been associated with St Patrick’s since 1882.

During his homily, Archbishop Christopher expressed his gratitude to those who had helped found the parish community 150 years ago.

“We can thank the Lord Jesus for all that was, and has been, here at Boorowa,” he said.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse celebrates Mass for the 150th anniversary of St Patrick’s Parish. PHOTO: MATTHEW BIDDLE

Archbishop Christopher Prowse celebrates Mass for the 150th anniversary of St Patrick’s Parish. PHOTO: MATTHEW BIDDLE

“The forefathers of our Catholic faith, the mothers, brothers and sisters before us have left us a living legacy in this magnificent church.”

While acknowledging the legacy of the past, Archbishop Christopher encouraged those present to continue to live out their faith despite the difficulties of life in regional towns today.

“It’s challenging times, let’s be frank about it,” he said. “There’s a great retreat around the whole of Australia from rural towns to much bigger towns and cities.

“It’s like a relay race… and now the baton’s in our hands. We cannot be despondent. Faith is not the place for nostalgia.

“The faith that we have is an energising faith, and just as the early frontier Catholics in this area had enormous challenges, we too have enormous challenges, but of a completely different time, especially with the passing on of the Catholic faith to younger generations, who are more persuaded by what they see on social media than what they receive at school or in their families.

“I encourage all of you, in this challenging time, never to give up hope and to keep your eyes on Jesus.”

After Mass, the Archbishop, Fr Tom and Fr Paul planted a special remembrance tree outside the church, before the crowd enjoyed an historical display and a shared lunch in the grounds of St Joseph’s Primary School.

Parishioner Teena McGrath said the celebrations were recognition of a significant milestone in the parish’s long history.

“The heritage and tradition we have here at St Patrick’s is something that we behold,” she said. “The legacy that our forefathers have left us and the commitment to their faith were enormous.

“As a parish we are proud of where we have come from, proud of our past, a past that we need to take with us as we navigate the next 150 years.”