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Parish prepares for MSC departure

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Sacred Heart Catholic parish, Hindmarsh-Findon, is preparing for life without the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart who have had pastoral care of the parish for 105 years.

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From the end of June there will be no MSC priest in the parish but preparations are well underway for the future, says Parish Pastoral Council chair Narita Perrotta.

MSC provincial Father Chris McPhee made a special visit to the parish before Christmas to inform the community of the decision.

Mrs Perrotta said since then parishioners had been reflecting and discerning on what the future of their parish may look like.

“As a Eucharistic community we have weathered change together over many decades,” she said.

“This change promises to open doors of new possibilities and opportunities for our community.

“Now, more than ever, as God’s faithful people, we are called to our baptismal promises to serve all people in our community and to follow the example of Jesus.”

Fr McPhee told The Southern Cross that the Order was “deeply grieved and saddened” to have to come to this point but there was simply no-one to replace the current parish priest, Fr Bill Brady.

He said the MSCs were working with the Archdiocesan transition team to look at “how we can walk together” and ensure a seamless transition.

“There is a good laity in the parish, and they are very strong in our spirituality,” he said.

The MSCs will continue to have a presence in Adelaide through the Henley Beach parish.

“Henley Beach is a key part of our strategy to proclaim and live out our spirituality in each of the states where we are currently based,” Fr McPhee said.

A transition team, which includes Administrator Delegate Fr Philip Marshall, Fr Brady, parish, school and Renewing Parishes representatives, was formed to manage the handover of the parish to the Archdiocese on July 1.

Members of the community have been invited to participate in a planning meeting to be held on March 2 in Our Lady of the Manger Church, Findon, to explore how the parish could look and feel without MSC leadership.

In his tenth year at the parish and 12th in Adelaide, Fr Brady said his health was not up to continuing the role in the long term and it was time for him to leave.

“It’s a sad ending for us to be leaving,” he said.

“The parish wants to be the best it can be in terms of administration and running the parish and being the kind of Church we want to be today when we hand over.

“We don’t know what form that will take yet, but we want to be modern and contemporary with lay involvement.”

 

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