Father Daniel Chama shepherds the Mirrabooka faithful
Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton imparting a blessing on newly installed parish priest of St Gerard Majella Church Father Daniel Chama on 12 December 2021. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
By Amanda Murthy
Discerning what is good and leaving aside what doesn’t help us grow in faith and as humans, are one of the missions that Father Daniel Chama hopes to uphold, since assuming the role of Parish Priest at Saint Gerard Majella Church on 12 December 2021.
Parishioners present to witness the momentous occasion which began with a Mass celebrated by Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton and concelebrants Mirrabooka Assistant Parish Priest Fr Tung (Anthony) Vu and Fr Chama.
In his homily, Bishop Don reflected on the readings of the day, then spoke about his hopes for the growing community.
“….As we celebrate this Third Sunday of Advent, it is as if the Church can't wait in order to give thanks for gift of the Son of God, who has come among us as He becomes man and is our Saviour,” Bishop Don said.
“Father Daniel has been, for a few years now, assigned to what we call the mission for the people, in Baldivis. He took up that role about the same time, that Fr Geoff Aldous became Parish Priest of Baldivis and commenced to bring the Catholic community there together.
“That community has grown, and this year, they’ve had the wonderful event of the blessing of the new Church,” Bishop Don added.
The Mirrabooka parish choir served at the Sunday morning Mass, as the community welcomed the installation of Former Baldivis priest Fr Chama who assumed his new role of Mirrabooka Parish Priest on 12 December 2021. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
“Fr Daniel has contributed greatly to the building up of the people of Baldivis into a parish that is now one of the largest parishes in the Archdiocese, even though the population is still growing, it is territorially one of the biggest that will eventually contain a population of about 60 000 people.”
Commending the leadership of Fr Chama and his predecessors, Bishop Don went on to say that Fr Chama’s responsibility as a priest comes “with a faith that enables him to be a leader in the community, a faith that he has learnt to put in the people.”
“The Archdiocese is currently rolling out a four-part formation program for parish councils which runs from 2021 to the end of 2022. So, I encourage Father Daniel to share his leadership with that group, who will be key leaders in this community,” he said.
“And I encourage the Pastoral Council to engage in this formation, even though the first two sessions have been completed, they may be repeated, so that the Parish Council of Mirrabooka, which at this stage, have not been a part of.”
Bishop Don then analysed the distinction made between John the Baptist and Jesus, as reflected in the Gospel readings of the day, adding that Scripture helps us to understand that every one of us has something to offer to this community, “because we don’t always have the same things to offer - the same skills and the same experience, but we have something to offer this community because of our faith.”
Fr Chama (right) cuts his installation cake with his Assistant Parish Priest Fr Tung (Anthony) Vu, as Bishop Don looks on. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
“John the Baptist was seen as the one that came before Jesus, and he was the one who came, as this Gospel says, like a man who is separated like the seeds of wheat from the chaff.
“If we throw the chaff and the wheat in the wind, the wind will separate the wheat from the chaff.
“That way, what John was offering to people was the wind of the Holy Spirit and the fire of the Holy Spirit. The wind of the Holy Spirit separating what is good from what is not needed, what is not necessary,” Bishop Don affirmed.
“The fire represents that way in which both the community can be fired up by the Spirit and the community comes to understand the difference between what is good and what is bad.
“This community then needs to be one with Father Daniel in that spirit of discernment. Of discerning what is good, and leave aside that which doesn't help us grow either in faith or as humans. So, pray for Father Daniel, also for Father Tung because they both are here, will lead the community, to inspire the community, and to work with the community.
And we pray that they and each one of us will announce the Good News to the world.”
In his homily, Bishop Don spoke about the need to discern and grow as a community of faith. He said this at the installation Mass of new Mirrabooka Parish Priest Fr Chama on 12 December 2021. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.