NATIONAL Volunteer Week 2018 was celebrated with gusto at St Agnes’ Parish, Port Macquarie, where the parish thanked its volunteers with a recognition Mass.
The Mass was concelebrated by Fr Paul Gooley and Fr Peter Wood, who went with the national theme – Give a little, change a lot.
It was a time to reflect on the importance volunteers have had to the life of St Agnes’ Parish.
St Agnes’ chief financial officer Adrian McKelvie welcomed the volunteers to the Mass, speaking about the significance of volunteerism in the parish.
“I have been with the parish just over twelve months and, during this time, it has struck me again and again what a remarkable parish this is,” Mr McKelvie said
“Reflecting on why this is so, I believe it can be attributed to the many wonderful people who have volunteered their services over many years, now and in the past.
“Without the contribution of these volunteers, our parish would not be what it is today.”
Fr Gooley said a volunteer was “someone who, freely, without any legal obligation, chooses to act in recognition of a need” to remind those present that Jesus himself was a volunteer, who came to serve rather than be served.
“Jesus, himself, realised there were others in need … that’s why he formed the disciples and established a church – Jesus knew it would be ordinary, everyday people who would be the backbone of the Church,” he said.
“If the work of the Lord is to be done, if the Gospel is to be taken to others, then it will be us – the ordinary, everyday Christians, who volunteer to get it done, that will do it.”
Speaking to the volunteers in attendance, Fr Gooley said, “You saw a need and answered God’s call, and we give thanks to God, and to you, for all that you have done and continue to do for our parish.”
St Agnes’ provided a range of aged care, education, social support, family services, welfare, hospitality, youth and pastoral services for the Port Macquarie-Hastings community.