“At last, the long-awaited day has come! Here we are by God’s grace and the diligent selfless saving by your Parish Priest, Fr Peter Caruana.” These were the opening words of Bishop Peter Ingham’s homily at the Mass of Dedication for the beautiful new Holy Family church in Ingleburn on the evening of Wednesday 1 February.
Bishop Ingham and long-serving parish priest, Fr Caruana were joined by over 500 faithful, including clergy, religious and laity for the joyful celebration.
The new church, which has been in operation since Christmas, has been 27 years in the making—a testament to the devotion and commitment of the Ingleburn and Minto parish community and of Fr Caruana.
The liturgy commenced with a symbolic handing-over of the keys of the church from Fr Caruana to Bishop Ingham.
“Holy Family Church is now a very visible building in this neighbourhood – a sign of the presence of God amongst his people,” Bishop Ingham said in his homily.
“Just think of the Masses to be offered in this building – think of the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Think of the children and the adults who will be baptised and confirmed here; the couples who will be married here …
“People, even the most secular, feel compelled to build places of gathering for human beings, because we are social by nature … Therefore, Holy Family Church is not a novelty, not the project of a few religious fanatics of the 21st Century. It is a human work and it represents a human need being met. Holy Family Church exists as a place where the people of God can come together and proclaim, without apology and without embarrassment, that Jesus Christ is Lord!”
During the Mass there was also a blessing and sprinkling of holy water throughout the church and over all those gathered, an anointing of the altar and walls, incensing of the altar, and a prayer of dedication over the church by Bishop Ingham. In giving thanks, Fr Caruana spoke of almost 50 years of history of the parish and praised the countless parishioners over the past 27 years – many of whom have now passed on – who contributed to the building of the new church.
“My aim for the new church was not to produce a grand design that was over-bearing or superfluous in any way,” Fr Caruana explained. “My motive was to build a dignified church that didn’t merely look like a building with a cross. The design is Romanesque in style, modelled on the churches in Europe. Any grandeur it portrays is only meant to point to the grandeur and glory of God.
“If we are true to the Gospel of spreading the Good News and Pope Francis’ call to the New Evangelisation, all our actions, including planning the future size of our churches, needs to reflect this.”