Great end to 2020, Cottesloe-Mosman Park community celebrate and give back

14 Jan 2021

By Amanda Murthy

Children from the after school Sacramental Programme as well as children from the local schools participated in the nativity play at the ‘Christmas at Star of the Sea,’ event on Saturday, 6 December 2020. Photo: Michelle Tan.

The parishes of Cottesloe-Mosman Park St Mary Star of the Sea and Corpus Christi united to end the challenging year of 2020 with a celebration, honouring the birth of Christ, while raising a total of $3,024 that was generously donated to the Archbishop’s 2020 LifeLink Christmas Appeal.

Dubbed ‘Christmas at Star of the Sea,’ the event was held on Saturday, 5 December 2020, the vibrant celebration included a children’s nativity play, live music and band performances by talented groups from nearby Catholic Schools namely Iona Presentation College and John XXIII College, food stalls set up by parishioners, caroling led by choirs from both the organising parishes, children’s entertainment consisting of a bouncy castle, climbing ropes and an obstacle course, as well as a raffle draw to raise funds for LifeLink (the raffle prizes were generously donated by local businesses and parishioners).

Parishioners stand with Cottesloe-Mosman Park Parish Priest Fr Marcello Parra at their ‘Christmas at Star of the Sea,’ event on Saturday, 6 December 2020, donating all their funds raised to help the Archdiocese LifeLink initiative. Photo: Michelle Tan.

Cottesloe-Mosman Park Parish Priest Fr Marcello Parra said that the first-time event of this scale, was a wonderful way to bring parishioners of Saint Mary Star of the Sea and Corpus Christi, as well as the surrounding community together to celebrate the spirit of Christmas and raise much needed funds for LifeLink’s invaluable work in the wider community.

“The highlight of the ‘Christmas at Star of the Sea’ for me was a Nativity Play which was held in the parish hall. Several children from the after school Sacramental Programme as well as children from local schools participated in the play,” Fr Parra said.

“Our Parish Sacramental Coordinator dedicated much time and energy directing the play and sourcing costumes and props, while the Corpus Christi Choir accompanied the children in their singing.

“The children committed to rehearsals over several weeks culminating in a delightful performance which was enjoyed by all,” he added.

Cottesloe-Mosman Parish Assistant Priest Rev Fr Rodrigo da Costa Ponte said the parishes exceeded the outcome they were hoping for in terms of the number of people who attended and the funds that were raised for LifeLink. But even more importantly, there was a sense of joy to see the community come together in the evening in the spirit of Christmas.

“The nativity and caroling were engaging and enjoyed by families from grandparents to the very young,” he said.

“The talented school bands from Iona Presentation College and John XXIII College provided great entertainment while guests feasted from the various food stalls.

“The children particularly enjoyed the bouncy castle and climbing ropes and obstacle course,” he added.

“It was a truly memorable event in aid of such a good cause.”

The Christmas at Star of the Sea event organisers said that the event was made possible thanks to the generous contribution from the parishioners, their families, local businesses.

“Everyone chipped in their time, talents and contributions. For example, parishioners who attend the Spanish Mass cooked and sold pupusas (a Latin American dish of grilled corn flatbread with cheese and beans served with a tangy cabbage slaw and salsa).  It proved to be the most popular stall followed by the sausage sizzle.

One parish family set up a stall to sell their homemade Christmas Cards, contributing $85 towards the fundraising.

The group added that holding a Covid-safe event both indoors and outdoors was a priority for the parish. 

“We had to comply with local town council regulations to provide a Covid Safe event.  There were many guidelines and regulations that had to be followed and thanks to the many parishioners that came forward to volunteer, especially those involved with logistics, we managed to hold an event that went smoothly and safely,” the team concluded.