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St Michael’s marks 100

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On hand for the parish centenary celebrations at St Michael’s Lane Cove last weekend were one of its oldest parishioners Judy Payne together with some of its youngest, Elliott (8) and Spencer (5) Roberts. Photo: Alphonsus Fok

In 1922, Pius XI was Pope; George V had been on the throne for 12 years; Billy Hughes was Australia’s Prime Minister and St Michael’s Parish Lane Cove opened its doors.

One hundred years later, one of its former but most familiar parishioners dropped in to celebrate Mass and reminisce over old times as well as look forward to the future.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, who made his First Confession, First Holy Communion and Confirmation at the parish, was joined last weekend by dignitaries including the Governor of NSW, Margaret Beazley AC KC; Anthony Roberts MP, Minister for Planning and Homes; and Lane Cove Mayor Councillor Andrew Zbik, to celebrate a century of faith.

“Exactly 100 people helped organise the 100 years of faith celebrations which also featured a morning tea in the parish hall and a luncheon attended by almost 400 people at neighbouring St Ignatius College.”

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It was also a chance to recall with gratitude the priests who had served the life and mission of the Church including those who concelebrated the Mass including Parish Priest Fr Sam Lynch; former PP Fr Martin Maunsell; former assistant priests Frs Brian Lucas and Gary Rawson; former parishioner Fr Bill Milstead; Bishop Peter Ingham, Emeritus of Wollongong, and Bishop Bernard O’Grady OP, Emeritus of Gizo, in the Solomon Islands.

Exactly 100 people helped organise the 100 years of faith celebrations which also featured a morning tea in the parish hall and a luncheon attended by almost 400 people at neighbouring St Ignatius College.

An important fixture in the life of the Sydney Archdiocese since it was placed in the care of the first parish priest Monsignor Hughie McGuire, the church was rebuilt in the 1970s once parishioners had outgrown the original building.

The parish’s first Church was built in 1926. For the first four years of the parish’s existence, Mass was celebrated in the Dorritt Street Hall. Photo: Archdiocese of Sydney
The parish’s first Church was built in 1926. For the first four years of the parish’s existence, Mass was celebrated in the Dorritt Street Hall. Photo: Archdiocese of Sydney

On reaching 100 years of continuous service to the community, parishioners from the ‘new’ church, itself now nearly five decades old, marked the milestone with the gift of a polychromed relief image in resin of St Michael paid for by the Church community.

Joining the festivities was Judy Payne who said she was incredibly proud of not only the parish’s past but also its future.

A parishioner for 80 years, she has made all her sacraments in the church including marriage to husband Graeme, and said it has been one of the constants throughout her life.

From reading at Mass, attending “housie” with the CYO, supporting the Parents and Friends when her children were at school and volunteering with Vinnies, the parish has been part of the fabric of her faith.

“The church has always been a huge part of my life,” she said.

“Reaching 100 years is such a milestone here is Australia but when you think of a centenary in Churches overseas, its actually quite young and I am very proud of our parish and how far we have come.”

“In celebrating 100 years as a parish community we celebrate first of all that God has, through his Church, come to meet us here in Lane Cove for a hundred years now.”

Parish priest Fr Sam Lynch said a Catholic parish provides first and foremost a place of worship to meet the need human beings have to encounter God.

“In celebrating 100 years as a parish community we celebrate first of all that God has, through his Church, come to meet us here in Lane Cove for a hundred years now,” he said.

“We give thanks to God for one hundred years of parish life and ask God’s blessing on the next 100!”

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