A reminder to appreciate the gift of faith, family and community
Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB spoke to the Perth Chinese Catholic Community during a Chinese Lunar New Year Mass celebrations at Manning Parish, St Pius X Church, on 2 February. Photo: Gregory Lo.
Members of the Perth Chinese Catholic Community attended the Chinese Lunar New Year Mass on 2 February at Manning Parish, which included a luncheon and an opportunity for the community to bond. Photo: Gregory Lo.
More than 250 PCCC members attended the vibrant Chinese Lunar New Year Mass and luncheon at St Pius X Church on 2 February. Photo: Gregory Lo.
Archbishop Costelloe presents a young parishioner with a red packet after Mass celebrated on the occasions of the Chinese Lunar New Year and the Feast of the presentation of infant Jesus in the temple on 2 February at Manning Parish. Photo: Gregory Lo.
By Amanda Murthy
The importance of life, faith and family were some of the key themes embraced by the laity of Saint Pius X Church, Manning Parish, who recently attended the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, held on 2 February, on the feast of the presentation of infant Jesus in the temple.
Organised by the Perth Chinese Catholic Community (PCCC), more than 250 people of all races attended, with many dressed in bright coloured outfits in honour of the auspicious occasion.
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB celebrated the 11am Sunday Mass, joined by PCCC Chaplain Father Patrick Lim and Salvatorian Regional Superior Rev George Kolodziej SDS.
During his homily, Archbishop Costelloe spoke about the unfailing commitment Mother Mary and St Joseph kept in fulfilling their religious traditions, which they were raised with.
“St Luke reminds us continuously [in today’s Gospel] that Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple in order to fulfil the Jewish law,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“Both Joseph and Mary were faithful Jews, and at the heart of their tradition was the belief that God is the creator and giver of life and that God must be at the centre of the life of every Jewish person and every Jewish family.
“Mary and Joseph’s determination to present Jesus to the Lord in the temple points powerfully to their own deep sense of fidelity to God,” Archbishop Costelloe added.
His Grace went on to state that the Lunar New Year and the religious feasts are great reminders of our fidelity to God, fidelity to God‘s Church, fidelity to families and fidelity to our ancient traditions – that are all very important.
“One of the great beauties of the Jewish faith is the way their religion is very much at the centre of their family lives,” Archbishop Costelloe continued.
“In common with many other Asian cultures, the Chinese Catholics have a deep reverence and respect for the family. It is one of the special gifts you offer to the wider Australian society and to our Catholic Church.
“Sometimes in our highly secularised western society, the importance of the family can be forgotten, we are inclined to speak of individual rights and personal autonomy and forget that we belong to families and to communities from whom we receive so much and to whom we have many responsibilities,” he added.
Archbishop Costelloe said both occasions are also reminders that when God created us.
“He created us as members of a family, He created us with a mother and a father, He created us with a history which stands behind us, and He created us in such a way that we can become most fully who we are meant to be only by living our lives in community with others.
“In God’s plan we belong to each other, we are responsible for each other, we are meant to be able to depend on each other.
“I am personally grateful to you for your witness to the importance of family life and to your witness to our common Catholic faith.”
Archbishop Costelloe ended his homily by imparting his best wishes to the PCCC faithful for the upcoming year, encouraging those present to always be grateful for their many blessings.
“Today, in a special way, thank God for the gift of life, thank God for the gift of your Catholic faith, thank God for the family to which you belong, thank God for the Church which is your spiritual home,” Archbishop Costelloe cited.
“May God bless you all, keep you safe, and draw you closer to each other and to Him.”
At the conclusion of Mass, the red packets (hong bao) – representing wealth and prosperity – were distributed to the youth present, along with mandarin oranges symbolising “life and health”.
The celebrations concluded with a luncheon and traditional Lion Dance performance.