CHRISTMAS 2015 - Christ comes alive in hearts and minds of Perth at Christmas
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe kneels in front of the Nativity during the Midnight Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral on Thursday 24 December 2015. The Cathedral was last month overwhelmed with visitors and regular parishioners as the local community from far and wide came together to celebrate the birth of Christ. Photo: Ron Tan.
By Jamie O’Brien
St Mary’s Cathedral was last month overwhelmed with visitors and regular parishioners as the local community from far and wide came together to celebrate the birth of Christ.
The West Australian newspaper reported that some 7000 people visited the Cathedral between December 24 and 25.
In celebrating the Christmas season, the Archbishop said that he believes there’s a growing sense that faith has something special to offer people.
“At Christmas particularly, people are very open to the spiritual side of life,” the Archbishop said.
“Christmas is a celebration of God’s determination never to abandon us, no matter whether we chose to abandon him,” he said.
In his homily for the December 24 Midnight Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral, Archbishop Costelloe spoke about seeing our faith in whole.
“Each of the different things we believe are an important and essential part of the whole but our faith will only really make sense to us when we begin to see how each of the things we believe is linked together to reveal the beauty of the whole,” he said.
The Archbishop spoke about his own traditions when he was a young boy, which included making paper chains from different coloured paper.
“As we celebrate Christmas tonight, and as we retell the stories of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, our celebration is a little like one of those paper links in the chain.
“It will have its own interest and beauty, and it is absolutely essential to our faith, but it will only really make sense when we begin to see how it is linked to everything else we believe.
St Mary’s Cathedral Dean Msgr Michael Keating said seeing a near capacity crowd for the occasion was proof that the presence of Christ at Christmas is still very near and real.
“I believe the effect of Pope Francis and the commencement of the Year of Mercy has encouraged people to think about the meaning of their life and to seek God’s mercy through the sacraments,” Msgr Keating said.
The eRecord Editor Jamie O’Brien spoke with a number of parishes across the Archdiocese to report about how they celebrated the birth of Christ.
ALIVE Youth Ministry Leader Francis Plando from Good Shepherd Lockridge Parish said the occasion was a wonderful night of sharing the love and joy with loved ones and strangers alike.
“The event was an immense success and enjoyed a positive reception largely due to the collaborative effort of the youth ministry, school and parish volunteers,” Mr Plando said.
Our Lady of Lourdes Rockingham Parish celebrated one of many Christmas Masses with a very windy open air Mass on “The Avenue” at Kolbe Catholic College, on Thursday 24 December.
Fr Pier and Fr Vijay celebrated the Mass in front approx 500 adult and children, accompanied with great music from a small but effective choir.
Northam Assistant Parish Priest Fr Simeon San, who was ordained in August 2015, said that for him, the Christmas period demonstrated a good opportunity to re-connect with God.
More than 350 people came together over the two day Christmas period at the Northam Parish Community, which includes several Mass centres.
Fr San explained that the Parish community, who are well known to each other, come from a variety of backgrounds, with many from the local and surrounding farming regions.
Read the full homily of Archbishop Costelloe by Clicking Here.