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2023 – In Review

As we draw 2023 to a close, we celebrate another year of uniting as a parish. 2023 marked a year where we were able to come together to pray, celebrate, and connect – a breath of fresh air after the previous challenging years.
2023 particularly marked a milestone for one of our parish churches – The 60th anniversary of the dedication of Holy Family Church. To honour the years the church has stood and the many people before us who contributed to it’s beauty, Holy Family Church was given much needed restoration. Many would have noticed the freshly painted doors, cleaned windows, and new carpet. The statues of Our Lady and St. Joseph as well as the crucifix hanging above the altar were all given a much-needed restoration and new paint, adding to the beauty of the church. Whilst we are able to see these works daily, a lot also happened ‘behind the scenes’ with cleaned windows, roof repairs and electrical work – we’ll be enjoying the church for many more years to come!
Parishioners were also involved in the care of Holy Family Church during the Parish Working Bee, cleaning, vacuuming and dusting the church. Young and old joined to care for the church. Through these initiatives, we hoped to foster greater number of volunteers to keep up with the ongoing care of the church as well as support the liturgies, devotions and events. We are always welcoming new volunteers – perhaps this could be something you take up in 2024.
The 2023 Liturgical and Social Calendar was jam-packed with liturgies, devotions and events. Amongst all this, we also had opportunities to collaborate with our three parish schools. Our regular weekly and monthly devotions continued and our annual favourites returned. The Lenten, Holy Week and Holy Cross Week Programs, allowed ample opportunities to nourish our faith individually and as a community. The Good Friday, Corpus Christi and Assumption processions saw us take our Catholic faith to the streets of Granville. We witnessed the talents of our musicians and singers, not only at our weekly Masses, but also at Tenebrae and Carols by Candlelight. The Parish Retreat Day made for a wonderful opportunity to pray and socialise with one another. Earlier this month we again took the Red London Bus to St. Mary’s Cathedral for the Christmas lights and markets – a much loved and fun evening!
A number of new events were welcomed in 2023. The Volunteer Information Night allowed volunteers to share their experiences of volunteering within the Parish in the hopes of encouraging new volunteers. The Altar Servers alongside their families had a social evening of bowling, in gratitude for their dedicated service to the Parish. We also honoured the month of November by visiting Rookwood Cemetery to bless and pray before the graves of the past priests of Granville.
The generosity of Holy Cross Parish truly shone this year. We were inundated with goods for the St. Josephs table that went to support families in need within the local area, through our parish schools and local agencies. We also fundraised a wonderful amount to support Elvis attend World Youth Day in Lisbon. We all loved following Elvis’ World Youth Day Pilgrimage with all the images he shared for our social media platforms – it was as if we were there with him!
All that we have achieved in 2023 was possible thanks to the time and dedication of our volunteer parishioners. The men and woman who work alongside the Parish and Fr. Andrew to build up the beautiful culture of service to the church with their selfless collaboration and ‘can-do’ attitudes allow us to join together and unite in our shared faith. Thank you! We truly hope you’re taking a well-deserved break over the coming days.
Before we know it, we’ll begin it all again and we can’t wait to see what 2024 will bring!