Saturday 13 September 2008

Called upon

I'm sorry that I haven't been posting much recently, but I have to say - coming out to Sydney has been like coming out of retirement for me. In Leeds where I was last a Parish Priest, it was like being a retired person. I have been considerably busier in Sydney. A few days ago I was called upon to celebrate a Requiem Mass for a family of Sydneysiders whose father had died. The Mass took place in Rookwood Cemetery - the largest cemetery in the southern hemisphere. This huge park - named in pagan fashion, a "Necropolis", is ten square kilometers in size and is located near Sydney's Olympic Park.
These photos cannot convey either the size or the stature of this cemetery. I celebrated Mass in one of two Catholic Chapels which, along with numerous other chapels and funereal facilities, offer the people of Sydney the possibilty of holding huge or intimate but dignified funerals. The chapel we used was very modern but not inappropriate, and I was surprised to find that the sacristy was fully and expensively fitted out with everything necessary for Mass. Quite unlike anything I have ever seen before.

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