Thanksgiving speech: Blessing of New Presbytery, 28th October 2017

Most Rev Fr Heinz, Superior General of the Divine Word Missionaries, my brother priests, Holy Spirit Sisters, invited guests, parishioners – good afternoon to you all.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, it has been said that
“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul”

Today it is good that we are all gathered together for the blessing of St Mark’s Presbytery. It is my privilege as the Parish Priest to acknowledge and thank all the people who have made this project successful. In 2014 the Archdiocese and the Parish Finance Committee advised that to conform to new guidelines and recommendations a separate presbytery should be built. The Archdiocesan policy is that the priest’s residence should always be separate from the parish office. Fr. Joseph and I, along with the parish staff and Parish Council, discussed this issue in depth and a decision to construct a new presbytery was made. The Parish Council, Finance Committee and parishioners all worked together to make this decision a reality.

On this special occasion we first of all give thanks to God who has worked through so many hands and hearts. With God’s help all things are possible.

​Today, along with Fr. Joseph, the Holy Spirit Sisters, and parish staff, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Most Rev Fr Heinz, our beloved Superior General of the Divine Word Missionaries, for blessing our presbytery. Your presence amidst us has brought blessings and happiness. Our parishioners feel honoured and proud that you have visited Inala all the way from Rome to bless our Presbytery. Thank you Fr Heinz for your presence with us today. We have a small gift for you to express our thanks and appreciation (gift to general)
​We would like to thank James Stephenson, our architect and Project Manager whose help has been invaluable. James has sat with the Finance Group and Parish Staff for many meetings, ensuring that we stay on budget, and overseeing the progress of the building. Thank you James. Please accept a small gift from us. (gift to James)

​We thank Steve Huynh, a parishioner, who was the builder for this Presbytery. Peter is the rock and Jesus is the builder. So our St Mark’s parish is the rock, and Steve is the builder. Steve came forward to build our presbytery, not merely for business, but as a gift to God and for St Mark’s. Many times I have seen Steve working on the weekends, and his work on the Presbytery has truly been a labour of love. Thank you Steve – please accept this small gift from us. (gift to Steve)

​We would also like to thank the Parish Finance Group – Peter Fox, Duong Pham and Noel Rodrigues, and Joy Spratt the Parish Secretary for taking care of all the financial matters. They were instrumental in giving ideas, plans, suggestions and advice about the finance for the construction of this building. The Parish council were a part of this project too by their organisation of fund raising. And lastly, and most importantly, the parishioners of St Mark’s helped through their financial support, their prayers and words of encouragement. Each dollar that parishioners gave for this building has been accounted for. The generous financial support given has been truly amazing. Thank you parishioners. Without your prayers and support, this project would not have happened.

​And last, but not least, we give special thanks to all our visitors who have travelled today to share our joy and happiness. Thank you to Fr Paul, Fr Bang, Fr?…., Mrs Allison Malouf our School Principal, Mr Tan Vu the president of the Vietnamese Community Centre, Sr Sarita – the Provincial Superior of Holy Spirit Sisters in Brisbane, and all our friends and invited guests.

​ Our love and appreciation on this day includes every one of you here, none are excluded. I thank Fr. Joseph, Sr. Jana, Sr. Philo, and Joy, the parish staff team, for their collaboration, support and family spirit. Thank you mates. God bless you all .