The Catholic Church of Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains has welcomed its new parish.
Holy Cross Parish, Granville was created on September 14, 2020 – Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross – following the merger of Holy Trinity Parish, Granville and Holy Family Parish, East Granville.
But this new parish actually has a long history. The original parish, Holy Trinity, began in 1886. In 1946 the parish split in two with the creation of Holy Family Parish. As noted on the Granville Parish website, in recent years both parishes have recognized how, with a strong common heritage and a shared sense of purpose, it would broaden and enliven their community to work together.
In announcing his decision to enact the merger, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta congratulated Father Andrew Bass, parish priest of the newly created Holy Cross parish. Since 2015, Father Andrew has also served as pastor of both parishes.
Bishop Vincent told Father Andrew that he looks forward to celebrating with the Catholic community of Granville as soon as it is appropriate to do so.
“After consideration by the Presbyteral Council and after taking the advice of other members of the Curia, I am pleased to inform you that I have accepted the erection of the new parish in accordance with the provisions of Canon Law 515 §2 “, wrote Bishop Vincent. to Father Andrew.
The name Sainte-Croix is the focal point of both churches. It recognizes Jesus Christ, as a member of the Holy Family, and second person of the Holy Trinity. It also links parish schools and their founders – Mary MacKillop of the Sisters of St Joseph, who took the name Mary of the Cross and the Patrician Brothers whose first school in Sydney was called Holy Cross.
As the parish’s website says, “The shape of the cross itself, the two parts that make up a single cross, is a sign of the union of two communities to form a union dedicated to the service of God, to the Church and the community at large.
The Granville Parish website gives wonderful examples of how the twinning of parishes over the past few years has led to a stronger community, doing things they could not have done before. Every Good Friday, for example, the community walks from Holy Trinity Church to Holy Family Church, stopping to pray the Stations of the Cross among parishioners along the way.
They share parish fairs, outdoor movie nights, picnics, parties and candlelight caroling. Their annual volunteer campaign now stretches across parishes, introducing new families to one another and forming friendships that would not have happened otherwise.
Given that the parishes have become so close for a number of years, the union will not result in significant day-to-day changes for parishioners. Already, the parish pastoral council and the catechists have joined together, and there is a parish bulletin and a Facebook page. With less duplication, resources can be freed up to care for parishioners, pastoral work, churches and parish buildings as well as more effective fundraising.
As stated on their website, the new parish is looking to the future. “We have a unique opportunity to show that we are proud of our Christian heritage and, more importantly, that we are working together for a common result. We pray that we all work together with a sense of faith, hope and love under the guidance of the Most Holy Family and the Most Holy Trinity under the protection of the Holy Cross. We pray that they will bless our efforts and grant us the grace to support us now and in the future.
Thanks to the parish of Sainte-Croix de Granville.