by STEPHEN FRASER
The Cathedral of St Patrick and St Joseph in Auckland was again alive with the throng and the sounds of several hundred people who attended the Annual Volunteers Thanksgiving Celebration Mass on November 9. Bishop Patrick Dunn thanked the volunteers for all the work they do in their parishes to help the parishes minister and function.
All manner of parish ministries were represented among the volunteers, from altar servers to flower arrangers, as well as extraordinary ministers of Word and Eucharist, those who visit the sick and elderly, and those who serve in ministries of sacrament for children and adults, among others.
The occasion was to especially recognise some 70 volunteers whose parishes nominated them as serving above and beyond in their ministries. Each was individually congratulated and handed a certificate of appreciation signed by Bishop Dunn. Appreciation was also expressed by the congregation.
A further 35 volunteers, who had completed the three-year “Walk By Faith” programme, were also congratulated, with completion awards given individually by the bishop for their achievement in faith formation and for their use of this to extend into further parish ministry
Bishop Dunn was joined by Deacon John Hawkins and supported by concelebrating priests Fr Gilbert Ramos, Fr Lio Rotor and Fr George Carlos, SDB. The musicians and the altar serving team from Takapuna parish youth assisted at the Mass, helping to make it a joyful celebration.
In his homily, Bishop Dunn spoke of the need to celebrate a resurrection life and that resurrection only comes after sacrifice and death. Bishop Dunn related this to the sacrifice of serving and then formally thanked everyone present for helping to bring Jesus into parish life in the work they do.