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Job at inner city parish inspires property manager to become Catholic

Special day: Jenny Yu receiving the sacrament of baptism surrounded by her sponsor, Ray Orr, Jubilee parishioner Elizabeth Harrington, Fr Gerry Kalinowski, Fr Rony Kalapurackal Chacko and seminarian Louie Jimenez.

JENNY Yu is working a job in Brisbane that has literally been life-changing.

The employee for the Archdiocese of Brisbane’s Property and Building Services became a Catholic on August 2, nearly two years after taking a job at the Jubilee parish.

In 2019, as part of her role in Property and Building Services, Ms Yu was asked to manage the Jubilee parish’s numerous properties, including seven churches in inner city Brisbane.

At the time she was not following any religion but said she believed in God and attended church services on weekends.

“When I went to church before, I’d always wanted to be part of the community,” Ms Yu said.

“I was going to church regularly, but I didn’t go to any particular one.

“I didn’t know the difference between say Catholic or Baptist or Anglican, I didn’t know the difference before I joined.”

Despite only working at the parish one day a week, Ms Yu said the Catholic staff, including the clergy, inspired her to make an enquiry into joining the Catholic Church.

She was enrolled into the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and was preparing to be baptised at Easter, along with all other catechumens and candidates in the Archdiocese of Brisbane.

The baptism was postponed due to Masses being suspended because of COVID-19.

“At the beginning I didn’t know when it was going to be postponed until, so there was a little bit of waiting and uncertainty, and I thought, I didn’t even know if it was going to be this year or next Easter,” Ms Yu said.

Eventually Ms Yu was baptised on August 2 at St Brigid’s Church, Red Hill, one of the Jubilee parish’s seven churches, in front of members of the parish.

Ms Yu’s children were not able to witness her baptism, but the single mum found another way to share her special day with her son, Lee.

“The kids were with their dad on that weekend but when I got home, I told Lee about my special ceremony and I told him about the special present I got from Fr Gerry (Kalinowski), Fr Rony (Kalapurackal Chacko) and from (seminarian) Louie (Jimenez),” Ms Yu said.

“He was very excited and he asked me if he can have it for the whole night, so he wore it for the night and he wanted to take it to school on Monday.

“He took it and he took it to school and he showed everybody.”

Ms Yu said she hoped to attend Mass at all the churches in the parish.

“I have been to all the churches at Jubilee, but I haven’t been to Mass at each church,” Ms Yu said.

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