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The Southern Cross : April 2012
The Southern Cross Page 12 April 2012 www.thesoutherncross.org.au The Southern Cross continues its Living Catholic page which features articles and photographs highlighting the many good works that often go unnoticed but make a big difference to people's lives and to the community in general. Parishes are invited to submit suggestions for stories that demonstrate in a practical sense Living Catholic. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. | living catholic Carmel Farrow has spent the past 44 years raising hundreds of thousands of dollars by calling more than 210,000 games of bingo for the Dernancourt Parish, the Oblates and local Catholic schools. "I've never stopped calling bingo," says the 73-year-old great-grandmother. She first organised bingo in 1968 to raise funds for Dernancourt Parish (then Hillcrest Parish) and the building fund for the St Pius X Church (built 1976). In the early 1970s Carmel held bingo events, sometimes 11 times a week, with people lining up hours before to secure a seat, to help raise funds for various schools, including Kildare College at Hillcrest, and for the Oblates -- the order which has pastoral care of Dernancourt Parish and their mission in Indonesia. "I thought there was not much I could do -- I don't have much money myself, but where I can do work is by raising money and that way I can help," says Carmel. "With the Oblates Mission, I knew the priests personally running the Missions and I knew how the money raised was spent." She still calls bingo every Saturday from the Dernancourt Parish Hall. Carmel was made an honorary Oblate during Mass last month at St Pius X Church. She has been an active parishioner of Dernancourt since arriving in the area from New South Wales in 1955 when the church was an old hall with louver windows. During the Mass she received the Oblate cross worn by former parish priest and Oblate Provincial Father John Coakley. Her name is engraved alongside his on the cross, which will be passed back to the Oblates upon her death. Carmel plans to hang the cross in her Modbury Heights home. "He was a great friend of the family and it means so much to me to receive his cross," says Carmel. The Oblates -- a religious order established in France under the patronage of Mary Immaculate -- has been running the Dernancourt Parish since 1957 when is it was the Hillcrest Parish. Carmel first joined the parish as a 17-year- old singing in the choir. She was living with her sister in Hillcrest. After marrying, she became more involved in the fundraising arm of the parish -- helping organise gala days, dinners, walk-a-thons, raffles, cabarets, Melbourne Cup lunches and more. She was a member of the parish council twice, on the finance committee for 30 years and the building committee in the 1970s and has been gathering and counting Mass collections since 1968. Queen bee of bingo FUN FUNDRAISER: Carmel Farrow, with her lucky number, has raised money over four decades for the Dernancourt Parish and the Oblates Mission in Indonesia. By Rebecca DiGirolamo Parkside parishioner Peg Solomon has spent the past two years praying for the good work of our often forgotten Catholic clergy and has been seen praying for hours before the Eucharistic Shrine for Justice and Peace at St Raphael's Church in Parkside. Largely immobilized by arthritis and emphysema, Peg spends most of her days at the kitchen table managing a vast collection of names of people willing to pray for the health and wellbeing of clergy. "Our priests can sometimes become very lonely and isolated and this is a small gift for them," says Peg. "They need support and they need to know they are not alone." The 76-year-old grandmother says she is aware of more than 300 people from Australia and South-East Asia dedicated to daily perpetual prayer for priests from about 53 countries, including many from the Adelaide and Port Pirie dioceses. "One group has adopted the entire clergy of the Port Pirie Diocese," says Peg recently. "It's just an amazing apostolate." Monsignor Robert Egar says Peg is a very special and dedicated person, who he met through his role as chaplain of the Eucharistic Shrine for Justice and Peace at St Raphael's Church in Parkside. He says he has seen Peg spend many hours praying before the shrine. He said prayer for vocations to the priesthood is a major feature of the shrine, which is open for adoration from 9.30am Thursday to 4pm Saturday and from 9.30am Sunday to 7am Monday. Peg has also, for the past two years, been sending 1kg packages of rosary beads, religious medals, prayer cards and sepulchres of Our Lady to 44 different religious missions in Australia and overseas for clergy and religious and those they are assisting. She says very generous donations from parishioners, friends and family have meant she is able to continue her ministry. Anyone wishing to assist Peg or to donate to this ministry, can contact Peg on 8363 4554 or 0447 634 554. DEDICATED: Monsignor Robert Egar with Peg Solomon, who has spent most of the past two years at her kitchen table helping advocate for the health and wellbeing of our priests. Photo: Nat Rogers Photo: Nat Rogers 'Peg' above the rest