70 years for St Therese’s Denistone

Bishop Terry Brady
Bishop Terry Brady blesses a new statue of St Therese of Lisieux as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations of St Therese’s Parish in Denistone on 21 October. PHOTO: Patrick J Lee

St Therese’s Church at Denistone has celebrated 70 years of serving the Catholic and wider community in Sydney’s north west.

Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney Bishop Terry Brady presided at the anniversary Mass on 21 October and celebrations included a blessing of a new statue of the parish’s patroness, and finished off with an outdoor lunch for all.

Parish priest Fr Roberto Castillo said parishioners generously donated funds for their new statue, and one of them built the stand for it to rest upon.

“The previous statue of St Therese was quite small and dark, and it didn’t look much like the saint, but when I put the need to the parish they were very generous so we are now able to purchase other items as well such as chalices and vestments as well,” he said.

Parishioners have been contributing their memories of their faith community, which are published on its website as ‘Down Memory Lane’.

Bishop Terry at St Therese, Denistone
Bishop Terry Brady cuts the birthday cake for St Therese’s parish at Denistone. PHOTO: Patrick J Lee

Geoff Hogan, one of the original parishioners, has recalled a sermon given by the first Parish Priest, Fr John O’Donovan, in which he quoted from Chesterton’s poem The House of Christmas.

To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.

“Fr O’Donovan also had an iconic representation of the Risen Lord placed so that it overlooked the sanctuary and congregation,” writes Mr Hogan.

“This icon and quote remind me that we, the People of God in Denistone Parish, gather together as a community in the presence of God to pray, to celebrate the Eucharist, to praise and give thanks to God and have done so as individuals, family members and as a Parish community for 70 years. I pray that this will continue.”

Fr Castillo said all in the parish try to heed the words of the much-loved saint: “What matters is doing ordinary everyday acts in an extraordinary way” motivated by a deep love of God.