On May 2 and 3, the Gordon Parish marked their 140th anniversary. Over forty people gathered for a dinner on Saturday evening, and on the following morning more than four hundred gathered for Mass and a light lunch. Fr Wally Tudor, a Gordon boy who was ordained at the centenary of the parish, Fr Paddy Duggan and Fr John Brady who had served in the Parish when it belonged to the Melbourne Archdiocese, joined Bishop Paul Bird and supervising priest, Fr Ed Moloney for the Sunday Mass. The choir of children and adults led by Monica Eastwood and the Nelson family were outstanding.
Originally part of the Melbourne Archdiocese, the Gordon Parish became aligned with the Ballarat Diocese in 1980. Since 2009, the parish has had no resident priest. Fr. Shane Mackinlay from Bungaree visits for two Masses each weekend. The three Mass centres are Ballan, Springbank and Gordon. Each of these centres has a Catholic primary School.
“One hundred and forty years is a significant milestone in any community so it’s well worth us coming together to remember, give thanks and celebrate the strength and character of our early settlers who laid the foundation for our wonderful faith community,” said Sue Daly, the recent Coordinator & Moderator of the Parish. “We are a community led Parish, we rely on visiting clergy for services, but the administration of the Parish and its future direction is led by the local people with the support of Fr Ed, our supervising priest from Maryborough.”
During the Mass, Sue Daly was thanked for her time as moderator of the Parish and the new team, Lin Bowers, Joan Bourke and Catherine Green were commissioned by Bishop Paul to coordinate the parish for the next year.
One visitor, Sr Berenice Kerr rsm commented: “What a vibrant occasion this was! It demonstrated forcibly what can happen when laity are well prepared to take on the responsibility for parish life, working in close collaboration with the supervising priest. It is certainly a clear indication of what the future could be like – utilising the gifts of the clergy to the best advantage while at the same time calling forth the involvement of lay people”.
At the end of Mass, all processed out for the unveiling and blessing of a new plaque to commemorate the one hundred and forty years.
The Sisters of St. Joseph and Sr Pam Barlow rsm were among approximately two hundred people who gathered to share stories and enjoy each other’s company. A beautiful lunch prepared by the Parents and Friends of St. Patrick’s Primary School completed a memorable weekend.
Sr Kathleen Moran and Dana Ronan