IF there’s a Gospel reading Fr Bryan Roe wants his new parish to know by heart, it’s the one he proclaimed on Sunday.
Fr Roe intends to make the Gospel reading from Matthew 25:31-46 the vision statement for his new parish community of St Benedict’s, incorporating the communities of North Lakes, Mango Hill and Griffin.
“Our challenge will be to make sure we’re Christ – we are called to be Christ in this area,” he said.
“Jesus makes it clear in the Gospel (from last Sunday) that He’s in the hungry and thirsty, that the naked should be clothed, that the stranger be welcomed and the prisoner be visited.”
Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge decreed the canonical establishment of St Benedict’s Parish, effective December 3, in response to the growing number of Catholics at the Redcliffe City parish.
Fr Roe said data from the 2016 Census showed Mango Hill had a population of nearly 70,000 people while Griffin was expected to swell to 100,000 residents by 2030.
North Lakes was listed as having the highest population growth in Queensland according to research by property advisor Michael Matusik.
“And it’s growing,” Fr Roe said.
“It makes sense to have a parish here because it’s where the people are.”
New challenge: Fr Bryan Roe has welcomed the canonical establishment of St Benedict’s Parish serving the suburbs of Mango Hill, North Lakes and Griffin.
Younger families make up the majority of the new parish community and, at a median age of 31, are younger than the national average.
The parish children’s liturgy topped its numbers at 95 earleir this year and the large presence of children has attracted more families each week.
The community is also full of multicultural Catholics representing Papua New Guinea; the Philippines; South America, especially Chile; Tonga; and Samoa.
“You name it, we’ve got it,” Fr Roe said.
“The Multicultural Mass next year will be a great celebration.
“Our community at the moment has a great joy about them.
“I think it’s because they are members of the community who are very active.”
Fr Roe said the present challenge was finding a presbytery and a church to call their home but his main concern was building the community for mission and that was where last weekend’s Gospel fitted in.
“Jesus said ‘Whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me’,” he said.
“We need to make sure our pastoral ministries are there for people who are pushed to the margins.”
Fr Roe’s first plan is to set up the parish’s first St Vincent de Paul Society conference to minister to people living in the region’s nursing homes and at least 60 refugee families who are settling into the area.
“There are young families on the mortgage belt too, and if they lose their job, we have got be there for them,” he said.
“A church and presbytery would be great but if I leave here after six years with just a St Vincent de Paul running and people looking after Christ in the poor, I’ve done my job.
“Our priority is to be Christ.”