Perth Chinese Catholic Community farewells outgoing chaplain, Fr Dominic Su.
By Robert Hiini
It was fitting that Chinese Catholics in Perth farewelled their inaugural chaplain in the same month that the ‘Mid Autumn’ or ‘Moon Cake’ Festival is celebrated; a festival that celebrates abundance and togetherness.
On August 31 the Perth Chinese Catholic Community (PCCC) celebrated a Mass and dinner banquet in honour of Salvatorian Father Dominic Su.
Fr Su has been the PCCC’s chaplain for the last three years and stepped down from the role having been given a new assignment in his homeland of Taiwan.
Indicating his impact, the Mass took place at a packed Holy Family Church, Como, and was attended by Fr Su’s brother Salvatorian priests and their Superior, Fr Boguslaw Loska. Sisters from the Ursuline Convent in Fremantle and friends of Fr Su from St Anthony’s in Greenmount were also in attendance.
After the Mass, members of the PCCC and some 290 guests adjourned to the Dragon Palace Chinese Restaurant, Northbridge for a ten-course dinner where Lee Kin-Wai, the Secretary of the PCCC, expressed a mixture of thanksgiving and sadness at Fr Su’s departure.
In his speech, Mr Lee also thanked Fr John Chuang SDS for his willingness to celebrate their Sunday Mass until the arrival of a new chaplain from the Archdiocese of Jilin in China.
The previous Chairman of the PCCC, Mr. Augustine Lai, presented Fr Su with a plaque while children from the PCCC’s Children’s Liturgy presented him with two letters of thanks as well as performing two songs in his honour.
Fr Su participated in one last act of service by allowing his voice to be auctioned off to raise funds for the PCCC. Father sang a mandarin song for a total of $3193 with his audience clapping along enthusiastically. A total of $4253 was raised over the entire evening.
Attendees were also treated to Chinese operatic and instrumental performances.
Organisers said the night would not have been complete without a speech and song from Fr Blasco Fonseca, the Vicar for Migrants, who underlined the need of maintaining ethnic cultures in a multicultural country such as Australia.
Summing up the feeling of the occasion, Fr Fonseca concluding his speech by asking the audience to join him in a song: “For he’s a jolly good fellow, for he’s a jolly good fellow…”