Praise for wonderful people working quietly in faith community

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Home > Media > News > Praise for wonderful people working quietly in faith community
Praise for wonderful people working quietly in faith community

An overflowing basket of cards sits near Mary Webb’s feet, while assorted floral bouquets sparkle in her kitchen.
Mrs Webb is sitting in her cosy lounge room in Ulverstone, and reflecting on a tumultuous past year.

The cards contain get well wishes. Mrs Webb has had a number of serious health issues, major surgeries, and prolonged stays in hospital.

The flowers are for Mrs Webb’s 79th birthday.

Mrs Webb has been described as ‘marvellous’ by one parishioner and a ‘cheerful hard-worker’ by another, in recognition of her life-long contributions to Catholic parish life.

Born just over the road from where she now resides, Mrs Webb has lived all but six months in the same street of the pretty north-west coastal town. Her only sister, church organist Colleen Stingel, lives almost opposite. Mrs Webb says UIverstone has been a wonderful place to raise five children: Sally, Craig, John, Christopher and Matthew. She and Bill also have six grandchildren.

Mrs Webb went to the Josephite-run Sacred Heart Catholic School in Alexander Road, and then to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School at Devonport for years 9 and 10 before starting work at 16 years of age as a ledger keeper at the Commonwealth Bank. She married motor mechanic Bill Webb in 1963, and alongside family commitments, stints followed as an usherette at the picture theatre and on the Tote (betting) at the harness and greyhound racing.
Mrs Webb worked in the Sacred Heart School office for 28 years and is a life member of the school’s Parents and Friends association.

Among her many contributions, Mrs Webb has been involved in the parish football-ticket fundraiser, the MacKillop Hill committee and the St Vincent de Paul Society charity shop, as well as helping out on various catering and church roster stints.

“I am just one of the many,” Mrs Webb said. “A lot of people do a lot of things. So many people have done so much more than me for the church, and I haven’t been able to do nearly as much since I became ill.”

Mrs Webb has had breast cancer, bowel cancer and open heart surgery, with long spells at the Burnie and Launceston hospitals as well as in respite at Ulverstone over the past 12 months.

“They didn’t think I’d make it and the family was called, but I’m still here,” Mrs Webb said with a smile.

“So the good Lord has looked after me well.

“Faith is very important to me. I think that has kept me going.”

She pointed out that many people make important contributions to the faith community.

“There are wonderful people working in our church community who give so much. They give it quietly and without expecting or wanting recognition,” she said.

“We are often unaware of the contributions others make, from praying – praying for the success of things, praying for others, and just look at the strength that is giving, and enabling others to carry on  –  to buying or selling raffle tickets.

“We have had wonderful Josephites here, and they are great people, and we have been blessed with really good priests like Fr Mark Freeman, Fr Mike Delaney, Fr John Girdauskas, Fr Joe Howe, and Fr Jimmy McMahon, who was relief priest here for a long time.”

Mrs Webb added a sincere thank you to everyone who had supported her and her family during her illness.

“While I have had this sickness over the past year or so, people been very kind in many ways, with prayers, contact, cards,” she added. “People are just so caring.”

Mersey Leven Catholic Parish member Mary Webb, of Ulverstone: ‘Faith has kept me going.’ Photo: Wendy Shaw.