Moving celebrations for St Francis Church

By Wendy Shaw

The blessing of the ‘new’ St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Riverside last month was the culmination of nine years of prayer.

After many years worshipping at St Francis Church in Pomona Rd, the parish has now moved to the refurbished former St David’s Anglican Church on West Tamar Highway.

West Tamar Parish Administrator Fr Martin Aye Ngwe said the blessing of the ‘new’ church was a key milestone in the life of the parish.

“Around 100 people attended the blessing and opening of the church,” he said.

West Tamar Parish Administrator Fr Martin Aye Ngwe celebrates Mass in the new St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Riverside. Photo: Mark Murphy

“It was a happy day for the parish, for the [nearby St Anthony’s Catholic] school and for the future.

“Our church needs to be visible and to draw the attention so that people know God is present in this community.”

In his homily for the blessing, Fr Martin reflected on the past nine years.

“Nine is the tradition of our Catholic Church. Novena means nine, from the Latin novem: nine hours or nine days or nine years: that we are going to have hope or we expect to get profit or get blessing,” he said.

“This church is the success of nine years that we have been praying, we have been sacrificing, bearing our pain … but last of all we can see the fruit of success. And this is the divine providence.”

Fr Martin blesses the congregation. Photo: Mark Murphy

Work will soon start on a presbytery on the West Tamar Road site, behind the church. There are also plans for a small grotto at the side of the church dedicated to Our Lady Full of Grace.

Fr Martin thanked the builders, project manager, parish pastoral council and finance committee members for their dedication to the project and working bee attendees for helping to move the fixtures and fittings.

The church at 399 West Tamar Highway, Riverside, was blessed during Mass on Sunday, 6 March. Archbishop Julian Porteous will consecrate the church in September.

Tags: News, Northern Deanery, West Tamar