Spe­cial cen­te­nary for Catholic parish

Central and North Burnett Times - - OVER 50S - Shirley Way shirley.way@cnbtimes.com.au

THE cen­te­nary of St Joseph’s Church build­ing is spe­cial for Jan Lutvey, whose fam­ily were pi­o­neers in Gayn­dah.

“For my­self, it’s the church I’ve wor­shipped in all my life – 72 years,” she said.

“It’s spe­cial be­cause it’s a con­ti­nu­ity of God’s place in our town, and it’s a place where we gather for joy­ful events and sad events.

“It’s 100 years of con­ti­nu­ity – it’s mag­nif­i­cent!”

Doreen O’Sul­li­van’s his­tory of the church stated the Catholic com­mu­nity was served by itin­er­ant priests un­til Fa­ther Con­stan­tine Ros­solini be­came the first parish priest in 1871.

Upon his ar­rival in 1912, Fa­ther Pa­trick Brady agreed with his parish­ioners that their Down­ing St build­ing was “out-of-date and in­ad­e­quate”, but it wasn’t un­til May 1914 that he called for funds.

Within two hours £125 was do­nated, with a fur­ther boost of al­most £500 from the church’s grand bazaar held in Septem­ber.

The new church, ded­i­cated on April 18, 1915, by Arch­bishop James Duhig, was built of re­in­forced con­crete, from sand and stone sourced from the Bur­nett River bed.

The open­ing at­tracted 800 peo­ple and priests from Mary­bor­ough, Mount Perry, Goodna, Nanango and Heli­don.

“It stands tall as a com­mu­nity land­mark, I think,” Miss Lutvey said.

“It’s a beau­ti­ful place – I of­ten go and sit in the church while I’m up there.

“(But) it’s the peo­ple and God, rather than the struc­ture (that’s im­por­tant).

“Mass has been con­tin­u­ally cel­e­brated there for 100 years.”

Miss Lutvey sighed with re­lief when she spoke of a parish meet­ing in the 1970s.

“We had a meet­ing here years ago – way back in the ’70s – on whether we should pull the old church down and build a new one or ren­o­vate.

“It was over­whelm­ingly de­cided we would ren­o­vate and I was so pleased.”

The Lutvey fam­ily has al­ways been as­so­ci­ated with the church.

“Rus­sia Lutvey came to Gayn­dah about 1898 and he was a prom­i­nent mem­ber of the church at that time,” she said.

“He and his wife and 10 chil­dren were all brought up as Catholics and all lived their faith.

“It’s the same church we wor­shipped in when we were lit­tle kids.”

As the Lutvey sib­lings grew up, they con­tin­ued to sup­port the parish priests and com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing cur­rent priest Fa­ther Ja­son Mid­dle­ton.

“Fr Ja­son is most en­thu­si­as­tic in cel­e­brat­ing the an­niver­sary of the church,” Miss Lutvey said.

The sis­ters are cu­rat­ing the cen­te­nary’s his­tor­i­cal dis­play, which will in­clude Fr Brady’s chal­ice, sev­eral full sets of vest­ments used un­til the Sec­ond Vat­i­can Coun­cil, Arch­bishop Pold­ing’s prayer book and other trea­sures.

All are in­vited to at­tend the April 18 cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tions – a mid­day mass con­ducted by Arch­bishop Mark Co­leridge and Fr Mid­dle­ton, with a lunch to fol­low.

Lunch bookings should be made by April 9 to 4161 1315 or email gayn­dah@ bne.catholic.net.au.

Jan Lutvey (But) it’s the peo­ple and God, rather than the struc­ture (that’s im­por­tant).

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

NEW BUILD­ING: Arch­bishop Duhig and Fa­ther Pa­trick Brady ded­i­cated the new church build­ing for St Joseph's Catholic Church, Gayn­dah, on April 18, 1915.

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