Sydney’s Syriac Catholics are set to build a home for their fast-growing community after receiving development approval for a church and pastoral centre in Sydney’s south west. Source: Catholic Weekly.
The community is also celebrating paying off the loan for the 1.4ha property destined to be the centre of their sacramental and parish life at Kemps Creek.
The parish within the Archdiocese of Sydney has a small church in Concord, but most of its families live in the south-west.
Over the years it has relied on other churches and schools to accommodate Masses, sacraments, funerals, youth group activities and catecheses in the area.
Parish Priest, Fr Lenard Ina unveiled the plans for the first stage of the building project after his community received council approval on February 7.
The next step is securing a construction certificate; the parish has launched a new fundraising drive to support the $5 million dollar project.
It’s an extraordinary achievement. When Fr Ina arrived in Sydney in 2015 there were about 125 families in the community and $25,000 in the parish’s bank account.
Now hundreds of families are pulling together towards their goal, including dozens of Syriac and Chaldean families in Canberra who also belong to Fr Ina’s flock.
“Really, it’s God working, not us,” Fr Ina said.
“I firmly believe that God has arranged everything for us. In my experience, if a work is good for the people and good for the mission, God makes everything work smoothly.”
Fr Ina was one of many Syriac Catholics from northern Iraq who fled a brutal takeover of their villages by ISIS in 2014.
The Syriac Catholic Church is a sui juris Eastern church in communion with the Holy See.
Plans unveiled for Syriac Catholic church in Sydney’s south west (By Marilyn Rodrigues, The Catholic Weekly)