By Emilie Ng
TEARS welled up in Brisbane military chaplain Deacon Peter Devenish-Meares’ eyes during a moving Mass commemorating the heroes who fought on Anzac Day 100 years ago.
The Jubilee Parish deacon wakes up each year for the Anzac Day dawn service, but said his parish’s Mass at Sacred Heart Church, Rosalie, for the Anzacs had moved him to tears.
Deacon Devenish-Meares was not the only parishioner with a teary eyes on April 25.
Relatives of war veterans were invited to light a candle and say a prayer for a fallen family member during the Prayers of the Faithful.
Many who came forward remembered family members who were killed at Gallipoli and in other battles.
Rose Hoffman was brought to tears remembering her young son, who had died in a car accident 20 years ago.
“This then transported me to Gallipoli where so many young men willingly laid down their lives,” Mrs Hoffman said.
“I imagine there wasn’t anyone in the church this morning who was not touched in some way.”
Bearing in mind the sacrifice of men and women who landed in Gallipoli 100 years ago was made “sacred and moving” in the presence of the Eucharist, Deacon Devenish-Meares said.
“It was a very powerful time of remembrance,” he said.
It was Kerala-born Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament Father Josen Antony’s first Anzac Day celebration, and his first time celebrating an Anzac Day Mass.
“The parishioners were so emotional and prayerful during the Mass,” Fr Antony said.
In his homily, Fr Antony said Anzac Day remembrance services were not “glorifying the war, but we remember fondly and pray for the soldiers who fought and died for our country and we show our gratitude and tell our country’s gratefulness for the gift of self in the cause of freedom”.
Fr Antony compared the sacrifice of soldiers to Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice, who said, “No one has greater love than those who lay down his life for others”.
“We continue to pray for our fellow citizens who bore witness to God’s own fidelity by giving their lives for others,” he said.
After the final blessing, the parish joined in an Anzac ceremony reading of The Ode, the playing of the Last Post, one minute’s silence, Reveille, and the laying of wreaths and a digger’s slouch hat.