Bishop pays tribute to faith of community at sesquicentenary
BISHOP Robert McGuckin spoke of the co-operation of the people as he reflected on the 150th celebrations of the arrival in Warwick of St Mary's first resident priest, Dr Giovanni Cani.
"It is extraordinary the way the faith has been handed down from parents to children," Bishop McGuckin said.
"Warwick is a faith community working together."
He brought with him the best wishes of retired Bishop William Morris who was unable to attend.
"Bishop Morris is with us in prayer," Bishop McGuckin said.
It was Bishop McGuckin's third visit to Warwick but his first for mass. He has two more planned in the next month, including one to Killarney for confirmation.
Parish administrator Fr Franco Filipetto said the original resident priest Dr Cani valued education, was very interested in providing homes for early settlers and built churches.
"He built the first church at St Mary's (now the Fr Joe McKey Museum and Archives), the first section of St Stephen's Cathedral in Brisbane and then had a lot to do with construction of St Joseph's Cathedral in Rockhampton where he was bishop," Fr Filipetto said.
"Dr Cani was a benevolent man who gave a lot of things away. He lived on his own and did his own shopping."
The mass was con-celebrated by Bishop McGuckin and Fr Filipetto along with Fr Brian Connolly, Fr Mick Carroll and Fr Don Murray who all served in the area.
The Sisters of Mercy were at the celebration - a group of women involved in education in the parish for many years and still with a presence in the community.
Vince Mullins, who lives at McKinlay in the north-west, was at mass more than 80 years after his baptism in the church.
- 1862: Dr Cani, first resident priest.
- 1865: Construction of first church.
- 2012: Sesquicentenary celebrations.
- 2015: 150 years since church opened.