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Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Sydney’s multicultural success story Sacred Heart Cabramatta celebrates 75 years

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Sacred heart cabramatta - The Catholic weekly
Images by Giovanni Portelli Photography © 2024

News of Sacred Heart Catholic Church’s jubilant 75th anniversary celebrations have extended well beyond Cabramatta, reaching all the way to the Vatican. 

The Western Sydney church has been honoured with a Papal blessing by the Holy Father for the feast, which saw 1500 parishioners from Vietnamese, Polish, Italian, African, Aboriginal people, Irish, Tongan & Pacific Islanders, South East Asian and and Middle Eastern backgrounds come together on 9 June. 

Clad in colourful cultural attire, they together acknowledged Sacred Heart’s role in building up the heart of the multicultural Cabramatta community. 

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Parishioners overflowed the church as students from neighbouring schools Sacred Heart Primary School, Patrician Brother’s College Fairfield and Mary Mackillop College Wakeley processed into the church with their banners. 

Bishop Daniel Meagher celebrated Mass alongside Bishop Emeritus Terence Brady, Parish Priest Fr Remy Son-Lam Bui and past and visiting priests. 

Following Mass, parishioners enjoyed a spread of Vietnamese, Italian and Polish food, celebrating the heritages of the parish across the 75 years. 

“The theme I set was, ‘Appreciate the past, celebrate the present and embrace the future,’” Fr Remy told The Catholic Weekly 

“Like all other anniversaries, it’s a great opportunity for us to thank God for our history and establishment of the parish, acknowledging where we are from and recognising the many various waves of migrants who came over here.” 

Sacred heart cabramatta - The Catholic weekly
Images by Giovanni Portelli Photography © 2024

The first Catholic Church in Cabramatta was originally an Australian Army hut in 1919, before becoming Sacred Heart Parish in 1949. 

A wave of European migrants, particularly Polish and later Italian, began to arrive shortly after. 

Directly following the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, migrants from South-East Asia also began making their way to Cabramatta. By 1982 Vietnamese language mass became regular. 

Nowadays, the Cabramatta Parish is thriving, with more than eight Masses each Sunday, four of those in Vietnamese and one in Polish. 

“There’s practically one every 90 mins from 7am-midday and then 4pm-7:30pm. Then throw in Baptisms and weddings in between, and you’ve got one healthy growing community,” Fr Remy said. 

“The challenge we have now after 75 years is to maintain that legacy of the parish, so that our younger generation, whatever their cultural origin, are able to grow and find their place of faith here.  

“God has given each of us a part of history, a portion of time in this place to do his work. This parish has existed well before we arrived and when we will be long gone, the parish will still be here.  

“With the time we have, it is up to us to contribute and do our best for the continued growth of the parish and the advancement of the mission of Christ and his church. 

“That for all of us is the blessing and the challenge of this mission.” 

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