By Greg Dening
The following the writer has grew to become his anthropological, theological, old and philosophical schooling, in addition to his own event, to writing the dwelling historical past of 3 Jesuit parishes at the North Shore of Sydney Harbour for the years 1956 to 2006. This booklet is an ethnographic heritage of the prophetic mind's eye between traditional believers in occasions of serious non secular switch. it's a narrative approximately habit, symbols, rituals, sacred areas, sacred occasions, that tells of the cultural procedure inside of them. the wider context of post-Vatican II Catholicism and a faith that led the neighborhood up to now in time is the backdrop.
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Extra resources for Church Alive!: Pilgrimages in Faith, 1956-2006
Red roses bordered the path to the church. A shrine of Our Lady, on what would have been called the gospel side of the church, stood to the left of the altar against the back wall. Within four years, the parish had a bell, hung between two tree trunks. William Lithgow, Colonial Surveyor General, had an estate farm not far from the church. He had used a bell to summon his labourers for lunch. He left it with Powell. It could be heard in those machine-less days as far north as Pymble. It still rings the Angelus and the beginning of services.
So a sesquicentennial story of the parishes on the North Shore will always begin with a register. Registers, mostly 40 cm long, 31 cm wide and 6 cm deep, 82 volumes in number, line the shelves of St Mary’s archives. They are precious and are carefully looked after by the parish archivist, Barney Mungoven. Over time, there will be thousands of requests to check a detail that will be important in someone’s life. Let’s begin with the first register, the Marriage Register for 1856–1868: On April 17, 1856, Bernard Daly, a 39 year-old, Irish-born widower with no children, innkeeper by trade, marries Catherine Collins, 26 year-old spinster, also Irish-born.
These lunches and dinner – and communion breakfasts – had a ritual feel about them. There would be a march, say, of the ‘Men of the Parish’ from St Mary’s to Manresa Hall, banners raised. With a bit of luck, the Apostolic Delegate, who lived in the parish, would say Grace. There would be toasts to pope and king/queen, hierarchy and clergy, visitors and kindred societies, press, the ladies, and the spiritual director. And Faith of Our Fathers would be sung at the end. That was the Tuesday of Centenary Week.