A parish born in 1956 amid the post-war housing boom of North Ryde which grew to have a significant role in a growing multicultural community marked its 60th anniversary last weekend.
Young and old came together to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Holy Spirit, North Ryde, on Pentecost Sunday.
More than 600 parishioners attended a morning Mass concelebrated by parish priest Fr Stan Kluk, assistant priest Fr Peter Kaupa and former parish priest Fr Janusz Bieniek.
In his homily, Fr Stan said he saw the parish as a family where the faithful have relationships with God and each other.
Parishioners look back with gratitude to those who have shared their talents, energy and time, and look forward with a pledge to love and serve in the wider community and to share with joy the abundant gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The parish has been shaped by a multicultural legacy that has grown from the pastoral care of the Michaelite Fathers, their Polish background and their mission work in Papua New Guinea.
Prayers of the faithful read in various languages and flags displayed indicated the influence of the cultures of many nations including Indigenous Australia, Chile, China, Croatia, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United Kingdom.
The parish’s strong ethos of co-operation, commitment and conviviality was evident at the parish’s International Food Fair on 13 May.
Parishioners performed a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday for Fr Stan, who recently celebrated his 50th birthday. A cake featuring the figure of the priest and his backpack commemorated his 2015 pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
From its humble beginnings when Mass was celebrated in the home of parishioners, Holy Spirit, North Ryde, has grown to include a church, parish centre, monastery, primary school and Flame Café and Gift Shop, and a vibrant faith community.
Lyn Langtry is a parishioner of Holy Spirit, North Ryde