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The Southern Cross : April 2012
www.thesoutherncross.org.au The Southern Cross April 2012 Page 15 feature | While Hectorville Parish may be the oldest parish east of Adelaide, a recent survey has found its ranks are being swelled mostly by young, migrant families -- continuing a tradition of multiculturalism that began with English and Irish settlers in the 1830s. Rebecca DiGirolamo travels back in time to find out more. One hundred and forty-nine years ago, mostly English and Irish migrants helped lay the foundations of the first Catholic Church in Adelaide's eastern suburbs. Father Christopher Reynolds, who went on to become Adelaide's first Archbishop, officially opened the Catholic chapel, known then as the Church of the Annunciation, in June 1863 on North St, in Hectorville. More than 200 people packed the tiny chapel for the opening Mass. Today, more than 1400 parishioners from across the north-eastern suburbs attend Mass weekly at the Annunciation Church, in Hectorville, and St Mark's Church, at Magill. Among the oldest of them are 92-year-olds Peggy and Kevin O'Neill. The couple is among five generations married and baptised at Hectorville Parish. "It is a really vibrant parish," says Peggy. Peggy and Kevin's parents attended the parish school -- St Joseph's Hectorville, as did their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Their parents married at the first chapel, while Peggy and Kevin were married in the second church built by the parish in 1917 to cope with a growing influx of Catholic migrants. They also lived through the rapid post-war expansion of the parish in the 1950s, which saw thousands of Italian migrants settle in the area and led to the construction of the current and third Annunciation Church on Montacute Rd. It was built in 1962. "We had fetes and every Saturday night there was dancing and it kept the people together. They were really good times," recalled Peggy. Among the first to be baptised in the newest church's baptismal annex was Margaret and Peter Ward's son Gregory. The family has been part of the parish community since 1961, when Margaret and Tim were among the last couples married in the second church, built on nearby North St. "The community atmosphere and the people have always made it a special and vibrant parish," says Margaret, 72. This month the Hectorville Catholic Community will begin a year-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of its beginning and the 50th anniversary of the Annunciation Church. Parish Priest Father Anthony Adimai says the Hectorville Catholic Community continues to evolve, with the latest parish census showing 100 new families, mostly new arrivals and migrants, have joined the parish community in the past 12 months. "The parish population is stable because while older generations are passing away, there are many younger families at the church," he said. Father Adimai is the tenth parish priest at Hectorville since the appointment of Fr Patrick Tangney in 1934. Fr Tangney was the parish's first resident priest after the Jesuit Fathers of Norwood handed over the care of the parish to the diocese. Hectorville Parish Assistant Priest Fr Peter Zwaans, the diocese's youngest priest following his ordination last year, says Hectorville has an impressive register of 37 priests, assistant priests and deacons since 1934. Two of its past priests have been the consecutive Vicars-General of the Archdiocese -- Monsignor David Cappo and Father Philip Marshall. "It's humbling to think that I'm chipping in just a little to their great work of proclaiming the Gospel of Christ to the people in the Hectorville area," Fr Zwaans said. Twin sisters Barbara Ferraro and Carmel Papalia recall attending the parish and the parish school -- St Joseph's School Hectorville -- as children. Their Italian migrant parents, Theresa and Antonio DeConno, were married at the second church, while the twins and their children were married at the third church. "My children were baptised there and my grandchildren were too," says Barbara, 69. "The parish has been a really important part of my life," she says. "I really enjoy going there. It's where I have been brought up." The sisters, their children and some of their grandchildren attended St Joseph's School, which was run by the Sisters of St Joseph from 1870 to 2005 and was visited by Saint Mary of the Cross (MacKillop) in 1896. St Joseph's School Hectorville assistant principal religious identity and mission (APRIM) Mike Proctor says the connection between the school and the parish began in 1863, when the first church was used as a classroom on weekdays, and continues with many parish/school programs and initiatives. "The 150th anniversary provides us with an opportunity of celebrating the contributions of many to the worship, education and pastoral care in community and strengthening the faith and service," says Mr Proctor. To celebrate the dual milestones of the parish's sesquicentenary and the church's 50th anniversary a special Mass at Annunciation Church will be celebrated by Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson at 10.30am on April 29. Other celebrations include: a three-course dinner dance with entertainment on April 21 at the Hectorville Catholic Community Hall and a "ShowNShine" day, sponsored by Vilis, on April 29, from 12pm to 4pm at the St Joseph's School Oval. For ticket information to both events contact the parish office on 8336 9988 or email email@example.com.. Oldest parish still young at heart The Ward and Tompkins families baptise their children Gregory Ward (far left) and Susanne Tompkins (right) in 1964. Peggy and Kevin O'Neill with their grandson Matthew Coyle, his wife Diana and their children Olivia, Noah and Liam -- five generations of the family are Hectorville parishioners. Photos: Nat Rogers Delivering an innovative and quality education Open Day is a great way of seeing our students engaging in learning and to meet our staff. Come along for a guided tour, visit our new Senior Building, our àexible learning facilities or drop into view our learning area displays. College Heart Values for 2012 Respect and Perseverance | 8 Dutton Road, Mount Barker, SA 5251 | Catholic Co-educational R-12 College in the Adelaide Hills To book your Open Day Tour please contact: Vanessa Grave, Marketing and Communications Manager T: 08 8393 1000 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.stfrancis.catholic.edu.au Enrol NOW for 2013 and 2014. Main intake years: Reception, Year 6 and Year 8 OPEN DAY Sunday, 6 May 2012 2.00pm - 4.00pm