Catholic Weekly

5 December 2004


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Cardinal’s remarks not an attack on Islam

Bishops celebrate regional Masses

‘Risk of financial ruin in credit card overuse’


Pudding! It must be Fr Mac’s

Lift secrecy from adoptions: bishop

Pudding! It must be Fr Mac’s

By Sandra Murphy

GORGING on plum pudding could go a long way to helping the poor across the world this Christmas.

But this indulgence can’t be with just any old dried fruit concoction; it must be Fr Mac’s Heavenly Pudding.
There are thousands more puddings than people in this festive business, which is owned and operated by the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, Alstonville.

Every year, the enterprise, mostly staffed by volunteers, sells more than 50,000 puddings to help support the activities of the parish and assist other nearby and overseas charities.

Bev Crethar, the factory co-ordinator, told The Catholic Weekly that sales had already hit record levels this season.

“ We’ve been so busy that no accurate figures have been compiled yet, but we definitely think we exceeded last year by a lot,” she said.

Ms Crethar said a new contract with Harris Farm markets had provided the parish with 15 new sales outlets.
Although she is spending night and day in the factory in a bid to ensure 50,000 puddings are made, Ms Crethar still enjoys the fruits of her labour.

“ We are under major pressure with orders to get thousands of puddings out and only have 12 mixers going at a time but, despite all the time I spend here, I still can eat the pudding.

“ In fact, I just had a piece with my tea this morning,” she said.

Ms Crethar believes the people who help pack and distribute the Heavenly Puddings are the secret of its success.
The factory employs five paid workers and around 60 volunteers who wrap and pack the puddings and make up cartons.

The puddings have been a labour of love since Fr Darcy McCarthy made the first ones in the presbytery kitchen at Our Lady of the Rosary to sell at a church cake stall in 1985.

Fr Mac died in 1991, but the parish keeps his legacy alive as owner-operator of Fr Mac’s Heavenly Puddings.
Proceeds from the puddings were initially devoted to repair and build much-needed parish and school buildings.
But now that the parish is thriving, the puddings not only supplement its income but also allow the parish to give money to overseas charities and to aid and development projects.

The main priority this year is to send a substantial sum to the Makumbi Home and Zambuko Children’s Home in Zimbabwe, which the parish has supported for the past couple of years.

Puddings have already been used in drought relief hampers for Australian families this year.

Regular beneficiaries of the pudding revenue include the Wayside Chapel, the Sydney City Mission, Centacare, the Lismore Soup Kit-chen, the St Vincent de Paul Society, Richmond High School fundraising for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome research and local care groups.

To buy one or more of Fr Mac’s Heavenly Puddings, call Sydney 9349 3066 or phone or fax Sydney 9349 214; call the factory in Alstonville on 6628 5474 or fax to 6628 3077.

Alternatively you can email or visit the Fr Mac’s website at