100 years of worship
Crowd sings the praises of Gayndah church centenary
JOY in song, prayer and thanksgiving marked the centenary of St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Gayndah on Saturday.
The centenary service was led by Archbishop Mark Coleridge, assisted by parish priest Fr Jason Middleton and six former Gayndah parish priests.
Fr Middleton said the Archbishop spoke of the fact that “the church arrived at a time of war and hopelessness… but stands as a monument to Easter hope”.
“Indeed a week before Anzac Day at Gallipoli, on April 18, 1915, all roads led to the site of the newly constructed church in Gayndah, formed from sand and stone from the nearby bed of the Burnett River,” Fr Middleton said.
“On the same day 100 years later, we gathered together to remember and give thanks for the past and all who have gone before us.”
While St Joseph’s parish was established in 1871, the current building was dedicated on April 18, 1915 by Archbishop James Duhig at a service attended by 800 people.
On Saturday, a foundation stone commemorating the building’s dedication and centenary celebrations was unveiled, and Archbishop Coleridge blessed the new stained glass windows.
Wendy Lutvey said 200 people celebrated the centenary, which began with a composition, Our SongWill Soar, by Gayndah
musician Helen Morris.
Fr Bernie Costigan, who served as parish priest from 1970 to the end of 1972, said the mass and liturgy were very moving.
“I couldn’t get over the singing and volume of singing, and the enthusiastic prayers,” Fr Costigan said.
“It was a lovely surprise as to how many remembered me (as) a lot of them were school children (when I served here).”
Jan Lutvey said she was still amazed to worship in the “very same building that was 100 years ago”.
“For myself, it was a fruitful 100 years and I’m looking forward to the next.”
Fr Bernie Costigan I couldn’t get over the singing and volume of singing, and the enthusiastic prayers.
CELEBRATION: St Joseph's Church’s centenary service was presided over by Archbishop Mark Coleridge (centre), current parish priest Fr Jason Middleton (to his right), and previous parish ministers (from left): Fr Adrian Farrelly (Vicar Judicial), Fr Pat Dowd, Fr Ellis Clifford, Fr Chukwadi Chinaka, Fr Verney Costigan and Fr Leo Skelly (right).