By Emilie Ng
RUNAWAY Bay’s parish community leaned on the shoulders of St Peter’s parish, Rochedale to help perfect their music at Sunday Masses.
After hearing the Rochedale parish choir perform earlier in the year, Runaway Bay parish priest Fr John Khoai requested they sing with his parish choir.
Fr Khoai sent a letter to Rochedale parish priest Fr Jacob Chacko asking if the Rochedale choir could “share their gifts and talents of musical voices” at one of their Sunday Masses.
Fr Khoai hoped the visit would also encourage young parishioners to start a choir.
Last month the Rochedale parish choir made the one-hour drive to the Gold Coast forging a new relationship between the two communities.
Since the visit, seven young people have formed a youth choir and have committed to sing at Masses once a month.
Holy Family Runaway Bay parishioner Jose Zepeda said the collaboration between the two parish choirs showed “a strong sense of togetherness”.
“It sounds easy but such a visit did need lots of preparation, requiring time to practice after work or study, some late nights and sacrificing their weekends too,” Mr Zepeda said.
“But all that was done with joy and enthusiasm.
“Our parish was grateful for their generosity, our brothers and sisters willing to share the joy of faith, and their hope.”
Mr Zepeda said this initiative was a good example of two parishes working together in the new evangelisation.
“Particularly we say thanks to both parish priests who are supporting the new evangelisation as part of their pastoral leadership,” he said.
“May they be a sign for others to follow with courage, enthusiasm and commitment to live out the Gospel as authentic disciples.”
Rochedale parishioner Josephine Cullen was one of the 12 choir members who visited Runaway Bay.
Mrs Cullen said the initiative was not just about leading good quality music at Mass.
“It was more about the two Churches evangelising together,” Mrs Cullen said.
Mrs Cullen said she welcomed more projects between parishes in the archdiocese.
“It would be great to see how other parishes work and if they need help, to be able to lift them up,” Mrs Cullen said.
“But most of the time we just sit in our houses or our churches and never wave to our neighbours.”