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By Afia Enosa SDB

Melbourne, Australia, 31 March 2024 -- Saint John the Baptist Parish in Clifton Hill and Collingwood and Saint Margaret Mary’s in Brunswick celebrated the beginning of the Easter Triduum with great solemnity and joy as hundreds of faithful parishioners and visitors came together to participate in the liturgies.

On Holy Thursday, the parish community came together in a beautiful display of unity and diversity. Preparations were made by the Parish Council team and parishioners, together with the Salesians in formation, under the leadership of Father Cassius Correya (Parish Priest of St John the Baptist). Father Peter Hoang (Provincial), led the congregation in a solemn Eucharistic Celebration, accompanied by his Council members and fellow Salesian priests in Clifton Hill.

Vietnamese and English choirs led the celebration with hymns. The variety of hymns in different languages added an extra layer of beauty and reverence to the Mass, making the celebration even more meaningful to all the faithful people of God who gathered to celebrate the Holy Thursday.

The main celebrant for the Good Friday service at Saint Margaret Mary's Parish was Father Phillip Gleeson, who was accompanied by Father Jan Walenciej. The day began with the Stations of the Cross, a re-enactment of the final hours of Jesus' life, by the Vietnamese group in the morning. Later in the evening, Father Anthony Nguyen presided over the Vietnamese service, offering prayers and reflections in the native language.

Leading the Easter Vigil at Saint Margaret Mary's Parish was Father Jan Walenciej, whose presence was accompanied by Father Phillip Gleeson and Father Frank Freeman. Together, they guided the parishioners through the vigil with reverence and grace, emphasizing the importance of this holy night in the Catholic faith.

One of the highlights of the Easter Vigil was the exquisite chanting of the Exsultet by Father Walenciej, hymns of praise sung by the choir led by Brother Dat Phung.

On Easter Sunday, the faithful gathered at Saint John the Baptist for the Eucharistic celebration led by Father Cassius Correya and Father Nuku Lafai. The Samoan Choir played an integral role in the celebration, leading the Eucharistic with a variety of hymns.

Father Cassius reminded us during his reflective homily about the powerful message of the risen Christ. He spoke about the significance of Easter and the hope and promise that it brings to believers. Through his words, he encouraged the faithful to reflect on the presence of Jesus and the victory of life over death that Easter represented.

As we reflect on the joy and hope of Easter, let us carry that spirit of renewal and redemption with us in the days ahead. Let the message of the risen Christ inspire us to live with faith, love, and compassion in all that we do. Happy Easter.


 

 

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