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East Gosford JPII shrine set to open

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Father Greg Skulski SDS is the Parish Priest of St Patrick’s Church, East Gosford, where the new shrine is located. Photo: Tom Croll
Father Greg Skulski SDS is the Parish Priest of St Patrick’s Church, East Gosford, where the new shrine is located. Photo: Tom Croll

Permanent first class relic of saint-pope will also be installed

More than 1000 people are expected to attend the installation Mass of a first class relic of one of the world’s most popular Popes of the 20th century, John Paul II.

To be held on 22 October, his Feast Day, the relic of the saint’s hair will be installed at St Patrick’s Church, East Gosford, and kept in a dedicated shrine inside the church.

It will be the first permanent first class relic of the Saint to be housed in the country and will offer inspiration for evangelisation to not only the people of the Diocese of Broken Bay but all of Australia.

“A pastoral centre dedicated to St John Paul II will also be established adjacent to the Church which will feature a display dedicated to the life of St John Paul II.”

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Set to become a popular destination for pilgrims, the parish community has commissioned a full-length painting of St John Paul II for the Shrine by a Polish artist and a statue of the saint will also be placed at the front of the Church.

A pastoral centre dedicated to St John Paul II will also be established adjacent to the Church which will feature a display dedicated to the life of St John Paul II.

There will also be an onsite chapel, conference and hospitality facilities which will be available to host pilgrimages, faith formation events and workshops.

Pope John Paul II prays in 1993 at the Hill of Crosses in Siauliai, Lithuania. Photo:CNS photo/Arturo Mari, L’Osservatore Romano

Broken Bay Bishop, Anthony Randazzo who will celebrate the special 11am Mass, said the relic of the beloved modern day Saint was an extraordinary blessing for the parish and the diocese.

Parish priest Fr Greg Skulski SDS said the Church community believes raising their status to a shrine and having the saint’s prayers with them in a tangible way will boost them as a centre of pilgrimage and faith renewal.

He said the Shrine and pastoral centre would allow people from all generations to come together for faith, formation and community.

“In our parish we have many young people and families and we would like to use this opportunity to help them grow in their relationship with God.”

“Many people know and love Saint Pope John Paul II even non-Catholics and I think that the Church in Australia and our diocese of Broken Bay would benefit from a new and fresh way of evangelisation,” he said.

“In our parish we have many young people and families and we would like to use this opportunity to help them to grow in their relationship with God and inspire them by the life and witness of this great saint.

“In addition to the shrine we will also establish a pastoral centre where we will hold talks about the Theology of the Body and John Paul II himself.

The new shrine will be opened by Bishop Anthony Randazzo of Broken Bay.
The new shrine will be opened by Bishop Anthony Randazzo of Broken Bay.

“The centre will be open to youths, young adults, families and all other adults with displays of photos and different items of John Paul II which will allow people on pilgrimages to learn about JPII as well as to enjoy our local hospitality.

“It is my hope that people will be inspired by this great saint to renew their faith and their relationship with God.

“John Paul II is well known, accessible and relatable to people regardless of where they are on their faith journey, and it is through this that we hope that they will be drawn and become more connected with the community of the Church.”

“John Paul II is well known, accessible and relatable to people regardless of where they are on their faith journey …”

The first class relic was collected when John Paul was in residence as Pope in the Vatican, and was kept by Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki in Lviv, Ukraine.

All are warmly welcome to join in the celebrations, and are encouraged to register for the event at [email protected], including your full name and the number of people attending.

Large groups from schools and parishes are asked to make contact early to ensure arrangements can be made.

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