Catechists applauded for years of service

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Stella Cessario’s award was accepted by husband Michael and granddaughter Samantha-Lee. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

St Mary’s Cathedral was full to capacity for the annual Archdiocesan Catechist Mass. Volunteer Parish Catechists, student catechists and their families and friends gathered for the special occasion recognising the importance and dedication of catechists in their local parishes.

During the Mass, which was celebrated by the Episcopal Vicar for Education, Fr Michael McLean, thanks was given to God for the gift that catechists are in passing on the Catholic faith to subsequent generations.

Awards were also presented to those who have completed their training, for student catechist involvement and the Years of Service milestones.

Stella Cessario who passed away earlier this year was honoured posthumously with an award for her service as a Catechist at St Mary’s Cathedral. Her award was accepted by her husband Michael and granddaughter Samantha-Lee.

Director of the CCD Doug Mawhinney. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

Director of CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) Parish Catechist Support for the Sydney Archdiocese, Doug Mawhinney, said he was overwhelmed by the turn-out at this year’s Mass.

“One of the most surprising things to me, when looking out over the Cathedral, was the realisation that this must be the biggest turn-out I’ve seen,” he said.

“Moreover, without detracting from the applause for so many centuries of combined Parish catechetical service, when I came to thank all of our clergy for their prayers, and then turned to thank those priests who were able to attend, the Cathedral erupted in spontaneous applause.”