Parish pays tribute to a grand centenarian

Parishioners at Cootamundra are planning a wide range of events, from a ball to an art show, as they prepare to celebrate the centenary of Sacred Heart Church.

Originally designed to be a cathedral, the church is an imposing and spacious building of impressive size that can accommodate more than 600 people. It boasts magnificent stained glass windows which are 136 years old, and were relocated from the former parish church, St Columba’s. Vibrant and poignant Stations of the Cross adorn the walls.

The church’s foundation stone was blessed by Bishop Gallagher, then Bishop of Goulburn, on 8 February, 1916. The church was blessed and opened on 25 June, 1916, by Apostolic Delegate Archbishop Cerretti.

“The parishioners are extremely excited,” parish priest Fr Joshy Kurien said. “The celebration of a 100th anniversary of the consecration of Sacred Heart Church, which was built during World War 1, is a milestone. The ongoing loyalty and generous support of parishioners – present and past – has certainly enhanced and enriched the quality of life and worship.”

The parish is planning a trivia night, art show, centenary ball, centenary magazine, celebration of First Eucharist and Confirmation culminating in a parish barbeque.

The trivia night will be held at 6.30pm on Friday, 22 July, the art show of local young talent at 6pm on Saturday, 20 August, and the centenary black and white ball at Cootamundra Town Hall at 7pm on Saturday, 3 September.

A lunch for priests who have served the parish will be held at 1pm on Friday, 21 October. This will be followed by First Eucharist Mass at 6pm with Vicar General Fr Tony Percy as principal celebrant. The centenary magazine showcasing the church and parish will be launched at 7.30pm.

On Saturday, 22 October, parishioners will visit the cemetery for prayers at 8am.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse will celebrate Confirmation at the 5pm Mass. A parish barbeque will be held at 7pm.

Fr Kurien said former residents of Cootamundra are welcome to return and play a part in any of the centenary events.

Inquiries may be made to the parish office, telephone (02) 6942 2514, website