The Christmas spirit is alive and well at Horsley Park parish which is hosting a spectacular lights display even better than the one which was destroyed by thieves last year.
Our Lady of Victories suffered the theft of $10,000 worth of up-lights around the church’s perimeter which caused them to cancel their 2018 Christmas lights festival that was also meant to mark the 25th anniversary of the opening and dedication of the church.
The new light show features projections of Advent and Christmas artworks and imagery on the outside of the church and its bell tower. It is running every day from 8pm-11pm until Christmas night.
There is a nativity scene underneath the bell tower and the inside of the church is ablaze with decorations evoking the glory of the starry night of Jesus’s birth. Pastoral associate Mary Farrell said several precautions are in place this time to make it harder for any Christmas grinches to spoil the festival, which is also planned as a key evangelisation outreach of the parish.
Last year’s cancellation after just a couple of nights was “disappointing” but there was never a question that the parish would not try to shine its light on the Christmas story again said Ms Farrell.
At the time parish priest, Michaelite Father Dominik Karnas, was adamant that the setback only galvanised the faith community to be more determined than ever to share its church with others. “Evil can’t conquer us,” he said.
This time up to 70 parishioners have rostered on as volunteers to show people around each night and answer any questions about the church and its people, Christmas, or the Catholic faith.
“We’re fighters if nothing else,” Ms Farrell said. “Christmas is a lovely time to encourage people to come back to the Church or to learn about our faith.
“Most people celebrate Christmas in some way and our festival is a nice event for the whole community to enjoy with no pressure – and then you never know how the Spirit will work. We are a little semi-rural pocket in south west Sydney and a very family-friendly and welcoming community.
“The parishioners are passionate about our church and parish and very excited to have people come and see what we are all about.”