Volunteers share ‘in the mission of Jesus Christ’
Pictured above and below – Our Lady of Victories volunteers at work
How would a parish function without its volunteers; parishioners who work the year round running committees, looking after the cleaning of the church, serving in various ministries and helping with maintaining the premises?
Fr Jude Pirotta, parish priest of Our Lady of Victories in Horsley Park says that all, not just the priest, are called to give service to the people of God and share in the Church’s mission by following the example of Mary.
He says helpers reap many personal rewards for their efforts.
“Two men from our monthly working bee look forward to it because it gives their wives a break,” he says, tongue in cheek.
Life at Our Lady of Victories is very much a community affair.
As the international year of the volunteer drew to a close, Fr Jude’s parish held a special Mass and dinner for the workers in the parish. A certificate of appreciation was presented to each of them.
In a special thank you message, Fr Jude summed up the work of the volunteers as helping face the continual challenge of maintaining their church and school in the Catholic faith.
“Each one who serves in a voluntary capacity is someone through whom God expresses an extraordinary love,” the priest said.
“The call for volunteers in the parish is one often answered. Parishioners regularly volunteer their time and energy in assisting in the life of the parish, developing and retaining a sense of community.
“Many have shared and agreed that the rewards outweigh the efforts. One person shared how she has gained enormously in many ways throughout her years as a parish volunteer. She has grown in confidence and feels that she has made a worthwhile contribution to the programs she has been involved in.
“Whatever you are doing within the Church, you are sharing in the mission of Jesus Christ; and may I stress, valued members of this mission, it is with your untiring enthusiasm, generosity and good spirit that life has been allowed to go forth.
“We are not like other secular groups sport clubs, social clubs, and so on; this group is here because of its faith in the mission of Jesus Christ, like Mary who was a true disciple of the Lord.
“Mary’s ‘yes’ allowed God’s dream to be born and grow.
“Our ‘yes’ to participate in the life of the parish and school allows the same life to grow and develop within the community, the Sydney Archdiocese and the global Church, bringing God’s dream to fulfilment.”