ST KEVIN’S PARISH EASTWOOD CENTENARY CELEBRATION, 2nd March 2019
It’s definitely a significant milestone for any organisation to celebrate 100 years of continuous service to any community. The first liturgical service officially celebrated at Eastwood in the original Church was a Mass. This building is now the school library. It served as the Parish Church for 75 years!
As we look back on the last 100 years there have been a number of significant world and church events. In the 1930’s there was the great depression, then later that decade World War II began, the Second Vatican Council, man landing on the moon (50 years ago this July) and in 1978 there was the election of a non-Italian Pope. On the local scene, this current magnificent parish church was opened 25 years ago this year.
Since 1929 the Parish of St Kevin has had 8 parish priests as well as a number of administrators. In 1919 the Eastwood district was under the care of the Parish of Our Lady Help of Christians at Epping. It is significant that for over a half of the history of the Eastwood parish, Fr John Haseler and Monsignor John Lyne served as parish priests. I assure everyone that I have no ambition to ever get near their longevity!
Besides the many diocesan priests who have served here at Eastwood, this parish has been blessed with the ministry of the Parramatta Mercy Sisters, the Marist Brothers and Fathers, the Divine Word Missionaries and the Vincentian Fathers.
Pope John XXIII, who is now a canonised saint of the church, once wrote “that a parish is like a village fountain to which all people can come to quench their thirst”. I’m sure that tens of thousands of people have come here to the parish of St. Kevin over the last 100 years to have their spiritual thirst quenched. At last count, there have been over 5,600 baptisms celebrated in the Catholic Church at Eastwood.
That this parish continue to be an instrument of God’s love, peace and nourishment, especially now in these days when the Catholic Church is so often maligned, is our hope and prayer today.
May St Kevin of Glendalough continue to pray for us!
– Fr Martin R Maunsell