• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Tuesday, 23 September 2014 14:32

Mission in Mackay an unexpected joy for Fr Rodrigo

Fr-Rodrigo-baptism-photo---350When Fr Rodrigo de la Rosa SVD left the missions of Brazil in 2003, he thought his missionary life had come to an end, but God had other plans for him, and those plans have brought him to a new mission, in a cluster of parishes around Mackay in Queensland.

Fr Rod says his mission, which sees him undertake the pastoral care of four large parishes in the Mackay region of the Rockhampton Diocese, has been a joy to him, not least because it was so unexpected.

“When I decided to leave the missions of Brazil after 23 years in the country, I thought that was the end of my mission,” he says.

“But the word of the Lord in 1 Kings 19:1-8 inspired me, where the prophet Elijah thought that the end of the line had come for him. But the angel of the Lord showed him that there is still a long journey to walk.”

Since then, Fr Rod has been in Germany for three years with chaplaincy services, then the Philippines for three years as formator of seminarians and three years in Alice Springs with the indigenous missions before arriving in Mackay almost three years ago.

“It is indeed a long journey, and my great joy, because the word of the Lord became true to my life,” he says.

Fr-Rodrigo-with-parishioners---350A little over a year ago, Fr Rod was given the care of the Southern Cluster parishes of Mackay. This includes the parishes of St Patrick’s, St Mary’s, St Francis Xavier and the country parish of St Michael in Sarina, which has the churches of St Therese at Alligator Creek and St Joseph at Carmila.

Apart from his parish duties, Fr Rod, assisted by two other priests and now Fr Thuy Pham SVD, provides chaplaincy at five local Catholic schools and at an aged care home run by the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart. He also visits Catholic residents of the Anglican and Uniting Church Aged Care homes. His chaplaincy duties extend to the Sear Farers’ Apostolate and the St Vincent de Paul Society.

Mackay has a population of 119,000, with a broad multicultural mix. The majority of people were immigrants from Malta who developed the sugarcane industry, as well as people from the Philippines who are working in mining, aged care and other fields of the economy. Many immigrants from India are working in the area as doctors and nurses and there are also people from New Zealand and other Asian and European countries.

“There’s a significant presence of Torres Strait Islander people living in our parishes,” Fr Rod says.

Fr-Rodrigo-with-parishioners-outdoors---350He says while Mackay had had a downturn in the economy due to a drop in demand in the mining sector, tourism is growing steadily, with the city of Mackay being the gateway to some of the popular Whitsunday Islands.

“Though there are many things to do here, I am rewarded with the joys that I can minister to the spiritual needs of people and help console them in times of grief, assure them of God’s blessings when they ask for their homes or cars to be blessed,” Fr Rod says.

“I can feel the happiness of parents when the children are baptised, experience the excitement of the children as they receive their First Holy Communion, feel the presence of God’s comfort on the weak, the sick and the dying, bless those entering married life and impart God’s mercy of a renewed life.”