As part of National Volunteers Week, 21-27 May 2018, St Agnes’ Parish thanked its volunteers at a special Recognition Mass held on Wednesday 23 May St Agnes’ Catholic Church in Hay Street.
The Mass, concelebrated by Father Paul Gooley and Father Peter Wood, embraced the national theme ‘Give a little, change a lot” to reflect on the difference volunteers have made to the life of St Agnes’ Parish over many years.
Adrian McKelvie, Chief Financial Officer of St Agnes’ Parish, welcomed the volunteers to the service, noting the importance their role has in the success of the Parish.
“I have been with the Parish just over 12 months, and during this time, it has struck me again and again what a remarkable Parish this is,” said Mr McKelvie.
“Reflecting on why this is so, I believe it can be attributed to the many wonderful people who have volunteered their services over many years, now and in the past. Without the contribution of these volunteers, our Parish would not be what it is today,” he added.
Father Paul, in his homily, used the definition of a volunteer as ‘someone who, freely, without any legal obligation, chooses to act in recognition of a need’ to remind those present that Jesus himself was a volunteer, who came to serve rather than be served.
“Jesus, himself, realised there were others in need… that’s why he formed the disciples and established a church – Jesus knew it would be ordinary everyday people who would be the backbone of the Church”.
“If the work of the Lord is to be done, if the Gospel is to be taken to others, then it will be us – the ordinary, everyday Christians, who volunteer to get it done, that will do it,” he said,
Then, speaking directly to the volunteers in attendance, Father Paul said, “You saw a need and answered God’s call, and we give thanks to God, and to you, for all that you have done and continue to do for our Parish”.
St Agnes’ Parish in seeking to be of service to all, particularly those in need, provides a wide range of aged care, education, social support, family services, welfare, hospitality, youth and pastoral services for the Port Macquarie-Hastings community.