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A day to rejoice and be glad


Plenty of smiling faces, occasional tears of joy and an abundance of bright colours of Vietnamese national dress were the order of the day when 1600 people gathered to celebrate the opening of the Church of Our Lady of the Boat People at Pooraka on September 29.

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Apostolic Administrator Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ was the main celebrant for the dedication and blessing ceremony, with 19 priests concelebrating. They included the chaplain for the Vietnamese Catholic Community, Mgr Minh-Tam Nguyen and priests from parishes in the Archdiocese, Vietnamese Catholic communities throughout Australia and other community chaplains.


Following the Mass, the Vietnamese community celebrated this important milestone in its 40-year history with a reception in St Joseph’s hall.

The opening of the new church was the culmination of a five-year $6 million project that included the construction of a new multi-purpose hall and the conversion of the original hall into a new place of worship.

The Church of Our Lady of the Boat People is named in honour of the Virgin Mary who protected the Vietnamese refugees on their perilous boat journeys in search of freedom.




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