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So long, farewell to MSCs


The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart may have departed the Henley Beach parish but the legacy of their 64-year contribution will live on.

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This was the clear message at an emotional farewell Mass celebrated by Archbishop Patrick O’Regan in Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church on December 4.

He was joined by past and present MSCs and deputy principal, Fr Peter Hendricks, and Vicar General Fr Dean Marin.

Don and Judy Newham present
Fr Hendricks with a framed photo of the church.

Parishioners Don and Judy Newham, who have been members of the Henley Beach parish since the MSCs were invited there by the Archdiocese in 1958, presented
Fr Hendricks with a framed photo of the church and the choir paid tribute with a cleverly-crafted version of So Long, Farewell.

Long-time parishioner Lucina Loro Parham couldn’t hold back the tears when she gave a reflection on behalf of the parish.

“Since 1958 when Fr Cuthbert Hoy was officially appointed as our first parish priest here at Henley, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart have planted seeds of love and hope amongst us and in us,” she said.

“Their actions speak strongly of their love for our parish and everyone in it, from the very youngest to the very oldest of parishioners.

“They have always made the time to develop a nurturing and faith- filled pastoral relationship with the parish schools, Star of the Sea and
St Michael’s College. And we have all seen how those initial seeds of love have grown into the parish we are so very proud of.

Lucina Loro Parham

“Although we will not remain a MSC parish, I know that I can speak for all present when I say that the MSC legacy will live on – Jesus, the heart of God on earth, is firmly engraved in us and in all we do.”

Archbishop O’Regan acknowledged that “this can be a difficult moment” but said it was also a “hopeful moment”.

“Many are our thoughts and feelings today, and grief is the price we pay for love, but in all of our thoughts, our hope, our thanksgiving today, let us allow that John the Baptist voice to touch into ours, because what that does is give us access to listen deeper to the voice of the dependable one, who is always with us,” he said.

Resident MSC Fr Paul Cashen said through the process of deciding to leave Henley Beach, the Australian province had faced the reality that of the 110 MSC men in Australia, 82 were aged over 70 years.

“The decision to leave has been a shock to us all, a shock to many of you yourselves,” he said.

“Pope Francis proposes that we begin with listening to those around us, especially the alienated and marginalised, to reflect, to share common hopes, and to work together to be open to all people in their faith journey.

“I can assure you that we as MSCs will watch with interest the unfolding parish life, recognising the need to engage everyone, especially the young, the elderly and those on the margins.”

Fr Cashen thanked the “thousands of families that invited us into their homes and supported our ministry and supported us personally”.

“We thank you for your generosity of spirit, the warmth and affection you offered to each of us,” he said.

“For the times we let you down, we are sorry, our humanity has been evident in our mistakes and in any decisions we’ve made and the hurt we’ve caused, we say sorry.”

He also expressed the MSCs’ gratitude to the Sisters of Mercy, De La Salle Brothers, Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Sisters and other Religious who had served with them in our parish.

“In all, 57 MSC have served in the parish since 1958 and another 50 or more from the parish of Hindmarsh before then,” Fr Cashen said.

“May the sacred heart of Jesus continue to inspire, to encourage, to accompany the parish in its mission of love, love from the Father and guided by the Holy Spirit.

“We give thanks as MSCs for the parish of Henley Beach and what it’s brought to us and the way our lives have been guided and helped.”


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