HAVING PLAYED the role of Jesus a few times for our local ecumenical communities Good Friday Walk, someone above must have thought I would have some wisdom to share on why someone would want to participate in the life of a parish.
I have been part of Holy Name of Mary Parish Hunters Hill for over 16 years and consider it a source of nourishment, renewal and joy. The parish has been witness to many important events in my life. Not only did I get married and had our children baptised in the parish but it has also been a home where I’ve been able to heal wounds, seek direction when I’ve been lost, be myself, offer a listening ear, share new ideas, spend time with people at the same stage of life, share frustrations and joys, recover from falls, listen to the life of wonderful people who have gone before me and nourish my soul through the Eucharist.
Its been a place where I feel that no matter what ones social status is in the wider secular world when we are together at mass we are together as equals all with a story.
* * *
TO SOME, it may come as a surprise that no one in the parish is perfect but there is perhaps a silent yet common understanding that here we find a source of food for our hearts deepest longings, helping us to live our lives the best we can for where we are at given all our imperfections.
Not only do we have time to recognise and call to mind our own needs but also those we may not know how to approach.
Here our hearts are given the opportunity and space to be softened in order to be more receptive to those needs and perhaps awaken in us our ability that we can do something.
Sometimes we are able to respond, sometimes it just goes over our head, but the opportunity arises over and over again, which is especially helpful for slow learners like myself.
It’s a place where all are welcome, and those who have come for either a short or long time still find a home when they return, even if for a visit.
* * *
IN A society where one may feel valued only by their utility to the economy it is important people know there still is a place where the door is always open, where they are valued just as they are, no conditions, no contracts or upfront fees, no prerequisites, just themselves with all their injuries, hurts, confusions, joys and questions.
This year our parish celebrates its 150th birthday.
I can’t help but think of the many stories that have passed this way of people from all walks of life who have contributed to the life of this parish and enable people like myself to continue the story inviting others to also be a part of, Catholics and non Catholics alike so that their lives may too be more alive for having passed this way.
RICHARD KORKOR is a long time parishioner at the Holy Name of Mary Church Hunters Hill.