Parishioners of St Canices, Kings Cross, celebrated the feast of St Ignatius with a number of moving liturgies last weekend that highlighted their connection with their sister parish and schools in East Timor.
Several students from St Ignatius College Riverview, Aloysius College Milson’s Point, and Loyola High School, Mt Druitt, shared their experiences of visiting the Jesuit Railaco Mission in East Timor which the parish has supported for 14 years.
The 10.30am Sunday Mass included a welcome to country by two young First Nation students, and music including the didgeridoo, trumpet, and a young soprano.
“It was a very Ignatian celebration,” says Michael Musgrave, who co-ordinates the parish’s East Timor connection.
“It moved some people to tears.”
Sergio M Santos, a graduate of the secondary school in Railaco where St Canice’s built the first two-room classroom in 2005, attended the Mass and proclaimed the Word in Tetun, the local language of the people in the sister parish.
Fr Frank Brennan SJ, who concelebrated with assistant parish priest Fr Gaetan Pereira SJ, said in his homily that St Canice’s efforts in East Timor were like an acorn that over the years has grown into a tree providing nourishment for many.
Parishioner Phillip Harding said the weekend was an important celebration of the “enormous contribution” St Canice’s community makes in the tiny nation.
“The East Timorese are our closest neighbours and our allies who gave incredible support to Australian soldiers in the last world war,” he said.
“I think it’s wonderful that our parish has been able to contribute and help these people who are really unsung heroes.”