Cloverdale Parish 60th: ‘Many hands build a church, but many hearts make a parish’

17 Dec 2020

By Matthew Lau

A joyous occasion as Cloverdale Parish Priest Father Michael Quynh Do holds up the parish’s commemorative Papal Blessing for its Diamond Jubilee. Photo: Michelle Tan.

The Cloverdale Parish community of Notre Dame Catholic Church held a special Diamond Jubilee Mass for hundreds of past and present parishioners on Saturday 12 December.

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB was the main celebrant for the 60th anniversary Mass.

Joining Archbishop Costelloe were current Cloverdale Parish Priest Father Michael Quynh Do, Vicar for Clergy Fr Brian McKenna (Parish Priest from 1994 to 2006), St Charles’ Seminary Rector Fr Phillip Fleay (Parish Priest from 2006 to 2010), and St Mary’s Cathedral Assistant Priest Fr CJ Millen.

Present for the landmark occasion were the Congregation of the Presentation Sisters WA, the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart (Josephites), Mayor of Belmont Phil Marks, local City of Belmont council members, Cloverdale Parish Council members, its Finance Committee, as well as Principals of St Maria Goretti’s Catholic School and Notre Dame Catholic Primary School.

Hundreds of happy parishioners of Notre Dame Catholic Church attended Cloverdale Parish’s 60th anniversary celebration on 12 December 2020. Photo: Michelle Tan.

A copy of the Papal Blessing was gifted to each family after the 6pm Vigil Mass, which was followed by a supper in the Notre Dame Catholic Primary School Hall.

Originally scheduled to be held in September, the Diamond Jubilee event was delayed because of the disruption of COVID-19.

In his homily for the occasion, Archbishop Costelloe emphasised the need for local parish communities to be Christ-centred.

“What does it mean to be a Christ-centred church, which is humble, healing, and merciful? For parish community, celebrating its 60th anniversary?” he asked the congregation.

“This question is really an invitation to look back over the past 60 years, first of all, with gratitude, to look around you at the present reality of this parish with both pride and hope, and to look forward with confidence as the parish moves into the future.

From left: Cathedral Assistant Priest Father CJ Millen, Vicar for Clergy Fr Brian McKenna, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, St Charles’ Seminary Rector Fr Phillip Fleay, and Cloverdale Parish Priest Fr Michael Quynh Do. Photo: Michelle Tan.

“Tonight, we can thank God for [the] countless people, who over the past 60 years, as members of this parish, have lived, that loss of humility, putting themselves at the service of the brothers and sisters in the faith, and of the wider community,” Archbishop Costelloe continued.

“Tonight, we can also thank God for all those people who support Fr Quynh in ensuring that this parish continues to be a parish, which reaches out to those in need, and cares for those in trouble. And perhaps, most importantly, of all, you the members of this parish can tonight, recommit yourselves to continuing and strengthening the spirit of humble and generous service, as your parish continues to move into the future.”

In his closing remarks, Fr Quynh gave thanks to the inaugural parishioners of 1960 for establishing the parish because “many hands build a church, but many hearts make a parish”.

“Thank you for being wonderful parishioners and friends and attending tonight. It is good to be a Parish Priest where you have so many who are willing to give their time and talents to help out,” Fr Quynh expressed.

Cloverdale Parish is hosting its Simbang Gabi nine-day Novena Masses from 15 to 23 December at Notre Dame Church each night from 8pm till 9pm.