The theme of keeping the flame alive in our hearts was reflected in last Sunday’s Gospel, said Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton, in his homily for Divine Mercy Sunday.
Speaking at Port Kennedy Parish, St Bernadette’s Church, Bishop Sproxton formally installed Fr Giovanni Raffaele as the new Parish Priest.
“Fr Giovanni’s major mission here will be to be one who can keep that light of faith alive certainly in his own heart, but certainly in the hearts of each and every one of those people in this community,” Bishop Sproxton explained.
“So that this community can be a light on a lampstand in the wider community in which we live. And for that to happen, Fr Giovanni will be asked to work with the Parish Pastoral Council,” he said.
Bishop Sproxton continued by explaining the importance of the Parish Pastoral Council.
“The Parish Pastoral Council is one that is drawn from members of the community, made up of people who are able to dream; who are able to create a vision for their community.
“In the commercial world, it would be called a strategic plan. A group of people who are skilled at looking at the needs of the people of the parish community; and seeing what do we need to do to provide for those needs in the community.
“What methods should we use to answer those needs, what are the initiatives that as a community we need to take, in order for those needs to be answered, or for that direction to be accomplished.
“So, the Pastoral Council is a very important group, and needs to be made up of people skilled in that work of strategic planning; of creating vision and of working out what will be the steps in order for us to achieve those directions that we set.”
Originally from the town of Messina, Sicily, Fr Giovanni told The Record, in a story for his diaconate ordination in 2016, that had planned to become a chef during his teenage years, and while already in the advanced stages of a course in hospitality, he felt called to enter the seminary.
“I hope the Lord will give me the same love and the same experience of Thomas in front of the risen Christ,” Fr Giovanni exclaimed, speaking to his new parishioners at Port Kennedy.
“Because the people that come to our churches many times are wounded; to see these wounds with the love and mercy of Christ, and to have the courage and the zeal like the apostles to go to announce his resurrection,” he said.