Sydney Catholics thanked God for the gift of mothers in many beautiful ways this year, with the pandemic restrictions inviting novel ways to say ‘thank you’ for mum.
At Ryde-Gladesville parish hundreds of people emailed photos and of the mothers and motherly figures in their lives along with messages of love.
Parish youth coordinator Jemille West compiled the photos to create a collage of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which could be seen during the live-streamed Mass celebrated by assistant priest Fr Daniele Sollazzo.
“We may be separated physically from our churches at the moment, but we are the Church, and that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the wonderful mothers and women in our lives this Mother’s Day,” she said.
At Rookwood Cemetery, the Mother’s Day Mass is one of the most popular Sydney Catholic events and this time was no different. The traditional Mass is a highlight in the Cemetery’s calendar with more than 360 people in attendance last year, but organisers were forced to cancel it due to the pandemic.
They didn’t want to disappoint those wanting to mark the special day which carries mixed emotions of love and loss for so many, however, and organised a pre-recording of the Mass in the cemetery’s historic St Michael the Archangel Chapel.
Celebrated by Bishop Terry Brady, and augmented by an online Mass booklet beautifully designed by Catholic Cemeteries and Crematoria it was viewed by almost 500 people including some from as far away as Ireland, England and France.
Bishop Brady said it was once again a “very special occasion” and celebrated for the first time in one of Sydney’s oldest chapels.
“What a privilege to simply say thank you to God, for our wonderful mothers and grandmothers and other very special women who are now with Him in heaven,” he said. “These are women who have given us so much in this world and continue to care for us from above.
“My own mother, Mary Brady, used to say Mother’s Day should be every day and I agree wholeheartedly. Thank you to all who make this special Mass each year possible.”
Chief executive officer of Catholic Cemeteries + Crematoria Peter O’Meara said they were “delighted” to be able to offer an online Mass and booklet for people to view at their convenience.
“Every May we take time to reflect on the important role that mothers and mother figures play in our lives,” he said. “We will look at continuing these recorded services for those unable to attend our special events for Father’s Day, All Souls’ Day and Christmas.”
At St Joachim’s in Lidcombe, more than 100 families wrote the names of loved ones and heartfelt messages of thanks on cardboard flowers which were positioned in the church pews, allowing parishioners to be present spiritually with Father Eduardo during the live-streamed Sunday morning Mass on 10 May.