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Oakey parish reaches faith centenary, day of festivities shared by the whole community

Blessings: Toowoomba Bishop Robert McGuckin (second from left) after blessing the centenary plaque at the Oakey parish centenary.

OAKEY parishioners, students, local representatives and inter-faith leaders headed for St Monica’s Church to celebrate 100 years of parish life on May 12.

Toowoomba Bishop Robert McGuckin celebrated the centenary Mass, with parish priest Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament Father Thomas Areekuzhy concelebrating.

Parish pastoral council secretary Anne Teakle said it was a wonderful Mass.

Mrs Teakle said there was a great response from parishioners, including former parishioners and retirees who visited from their retirement communities.

“It was excellent to see everyone,” she said.

“And the Filipino community that live in Oakey and the surrounding district, they attended, (bringing) their music and choir, which really lifted the service as well.”

Joining in song was a group of school children from St Monica’s Primary School.

“We had a great response from the school families – St Monica’s school – it was really good,” Mrs Teakle said.

Support also came from the wider Christian community too, with Anglican and Lutheran community members joining the celebrations.

Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio, as well as two members of parliament, also attended.

Among the celebrations was the unveiling and blessing of a centenary plaque by Bishop McGuckin and a launching of a photo and memorabilia project of the past 100 years.

After the Mass, a large number of parishioners moved into the parish hall for the cutting of the centenary cake and to sign the centenary guest book.

In 1919, Brisbane Archbishop James Duhig moved the original timber church to its current location and declared Oakey a parish.

The current church on the site, St Monica’s, was rebuilt in 1958 in a brick-style and has stood there to this day.

Mrs Teakle said she was grateful for the community involvement to make the centenary happen.

“Thank you to everyone who attended and made it such a wonderful day,” she said.

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