1960 – 2010
Our journey began long before 1960. We acknowledge the first inhabitants of this area, the Turrbul People, and those of this mob who remain connected to our parish community. We acknowledge the founding Church of the Brisbane Archdiocese, whose faith and commitment fostered the faith in the promising colony.
It was in 1957 that the foresight, the generosity and the faithfulness of a community and it pastors became a reality when St Philomenas School was begun here on land purchased from our next door neighbours Frank and Peg Nugent. Frank and Peg took an avid interest in the church and her activities and we are pleased that Peg is here with us today. We now had a place to gather. Fr George Nugent came down from Mitchelton to say mass in the classroom cleared of desks and as is true for all communities, ownership and pride grew out of the commitment of the volunteers that gave their all to make it happen.
In 1960 we became the Parish of St Philomenas, Grovely. We had our own pastor, Fr Brian Daley, and we had a school which nurtured our children and on Sunday it became the space that drew the whole community together for mass and to dream of the future. What more could we want? But there were the dreams to be fulfilled. Fr Daley continued to live at Mitchelton presbytery until one was built at Grovely and after a massive effort under darkness of moving the old Mitchelton church this site took on the shape of things to come.
By 1964, after being renamed on the 15th July 1963, the dedication and faithfulness of the people established the nucleus of the St. Williams site – a school, a presbytery and a church.
These buildings, built, renovated and refurbished with a large component of voluntary labour, are part of our life history. With all life histories, there is sadness and in this jubilee year we saw our original Church of St William disappear. Although old and at times shabby it was loved for its place in our family. Refreshed to welcome us back for liturgy in 2004. It reflected us as a community with its versatility and comfortableness to convert from place of worshipto bingo hall,concert hall and dance studio,place of adult education to social gathering space after massand play area for children. And of course the latest use, the St Williams Markets.
The infant years of St Williams was in the era when the Church was on the verge of change and to quote Fr Daley we were ready to rush out and take the Vatican II changes. We did just this in every sense of the word. We are the People of God working collaboratively to build the Kingdom of God in our small area of the world and beyond. We have been blessed with prayerful, gifted pastors to lead us – Frs Brian Daley, Jim Smith, Tom Elich, John Kilinko, Denis Scanlan, Luke Reed, John Barlow, Ian Wren, Houng, Morgan Batt, James ODonoghue John Hong, for a short period of time, Erik Quinteros and Patrick Lim, Stephen Byrnes and our present parish priest Frank Lourigan. With these pastors and generous parishioners who have given financial and material support and time abundantly, we are here today, proud of our home parish and looking to the future.
Finance Team / Planned Giving Team / Samford Co-ordinators / Group Collectors
In the beginning we were financially challenged, but – spirit filled! At another time the notice in the newsletter stated that our financial situation was in distress. Balancing the budget always presents challenges and today, our Parish Adminstration and Community co-ordinators, Planned Giving and Finance Team and Collectors ensure that our needs are met and our dreams take shape. How were we able to move forward so strongly in those early days? From the stories told it was the faith and prayer of the people.
Meditation Group / Charismatic Group / Divine Mercy Friday / Rosary Group / Tuesday Prayer Group
The Parish continues to offer the opportunity to celebrate Eucharist each day and for the community to join in communal prayer, with dedicated prayer groups, a meditation group and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Each day of the week, groups know that where two or three are gathered in my name there I am in the midst of them. In the very beginning it was the desire of families to educate their children in the catholic tradition that gave life to this parish.
St Williams School / St Andrews School / OSHC St Williams / OSHC St Andrews
Today St Williams School, 53 years old, is joined by St Andrews, established at Ferny Grove 25years ago. And to meet the needs of the 21st century families, both schools support After School Hours Care. To evangelise is the call to all of us Baptised into Christ. This happens in as many varied ways as there are possibilities in each of our lives. Each of our ministries and outreach projects hold the possibility.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd / Religious Instruction / Catechists in the State Schools / Catholics Returning Home
Guided by the Spirit, the Parish introduced the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for our little ones. Encouraging the seed of Gods Word to grow and blossom. In another area of parish life, devoted catechists make their way into the local State Schools with the Ecumenical Team planting the seed of Gods love for lifes journey. As we all know our journey of faith can be broken and sometimes bumpy. Catholics Returning Home welcomes with understanding and love and offers the possibility for the seed of faith to be refreshed and nourished.
Among the magnificent qualities of this parish is its care of each other and the extension of fellowship and support to those beyond our parish. Over our 50 years, groups have evolved to meet the needs of the time … Majellan, Young Companions, Antioch, YCS, Holy Name, Coffee & Cupcakes, Confraternity of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and more.
Parish Radio YYY / Social Club / Play Group / Mah Jong
And so this awareness and evolution continues, meeting the needs of the time … Play Group and the Seniors Bingo and Social Club. The news and views behind the airwaves of YYY and the meeting of disciplined minds at Mah Jong. We call ourselves a Parish Family. Built upon the 100s of families that live throughout the area, with 16, 000 plus Catholics on the Commonwealth Census.
Family Group Movement
The Family Group Movement endeavours to establish a sense of belonging and community growth in our Parish. It is a potent pocket of people- power that on one hand organises and distributes $1000s of Christmas Hampers each year and on the other offers a cuppa after mass on a Sunday.
The St Vincent de Paul Confraternity
The Bread Run / The Church Shop / The Market Team
Even before the Parish began Fr George Nugent established a Saint Vincent de Paul Confraternity to meet the needs of this emerging community. Visiting and offering assistance when needed. Today this ministry continues. The traditional charisms of the Society being complemented by the bread run and Food Bank hampers, the operation of the church shop and the successful venture of the monthly St Williams Markets. The markets together with supporting the Conference financially, offer an outlet for local artisans and the opportunity for fellowship, evangelisation and simple good fun.
Our Parish Life is like a jig saw puzzle. Each piece neatly fits into another extending the mission in yet another direction, giving comfort, deepening spiritual growth, opening up new opportunities for the poor, encouraging us to be more aware of justice, and nourishing and educating our community. We leave here each Sunday with the words … Go in peace to love and serve the Lord and we take the Good News to our home and workplaces and everywhere else we go.
Adult Faith Education
With education our awareness of the possibilities to go in peace to love and serve the Lord increases. The Adult Faith Education Team is a piece of our parish family jigsaw which ensures we have the opportunities to grow in knowledge of scripture and tradition and the impact of social issues.
Over the years the hearts of this community have opened with compassion, justice and love as the plight of groups and individuals have come to our attention. Our parish with our trust in God and our people, became involved in the resettlement of Vietnam refugees. With this came the Basic Community saving Scheme which continues today.
Social Justice Group
Timor Leste Team / St Williams Basic Community
The outward looking and dynamic Social Justice Team jogs our conscience on all matters from Fair Trade to children at risk, from environmental issues to the injustice of detention and capital punishment. They lead us in ways to share our good fortune and blessedness with others. In recent months we have partnered with the Parish of Liciquor, Timor Leste.
Care & Concern / Grief Support Team / Mass of Anointing Hospitality Team
In 1978 the Care and Concern Group was formed offering assistance in the myriad of areas that at some time or other need an extra hand. Today it continues to maintain its mission to respond to the emergency situations that arise in families while the Grief Support Team, touches in at that most vulnerable time in peoples lives.
Care for the sick
Communion to the Sick / Farrington Grove Keperra / Sanctuary Madonna Villa / Moonah Park Regis / Homebound / Samford Community
Hospitality and care true trademarks of our Community. In a multi-generational community there comes a time when age or ill health prevent some from joining the community to celebrate Eucharist on Sunday. Within our parish we have several residential establishments and nursing homes … Madonna Villa and St Josephs on the hill on the site of the old Redemporist Monastery, Bellevue Care Centre, Farrington Grove, Moonah Park, Regis and Keperra Sanctuary. A generous team of ministers across the suburbs and over the hill into Samford Valley take communion to these parishioners and to those who are ill and find themselves housebound.
Infant Baptism Team / Childrens Sacramental Team / RCIA / Marriage Preparation Team
The Sacraments are prepared for and nourished within the community and Baptism, Childrens Initiation, RCIA and Marriage Preparation Teams work in service of us. These men and women cultivate and encourage faith and relationship bound with the Love of God.
All of this and so much more is what makes our Parish. Yes, some may say it is the buildings but surely it is us and the mission that we have undertaken to bring each other and others into the community, to care for each person from birth to death, to experience Jesus life and love through the pain and sorrow, the joys and happiness. Today as on every Sunday we gather. We gather as one to celebrate, to give thanks and to praise our God. Without denying the power of the Holy Spirit and the adaptability and gifts of our pastors, an informed, gifted and creative group of parishioners plan, prepare and serve to enable our liturgies to invite full and active participation of the People of God.
The Liturgy Team supports the activities of the Samford and Grovely liturgy planners – the artists, musicians, the singers, the altar servers, the liturgical ministers, childrens liturgy and kids bags …
As we continue on our journey we affirm the many, many parishioners who over 50 years have worked to build the bricks and mortar, who have read and studied, have prayed and mentored, have cared for each other, who have called this community home and who valued their faith.