• 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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Thursday, 28 June 2018 17:14

Race day faith outreach a winner in country Queensland

Fr Ronaldo gives blessing 350It’s not every day that you can go to the horse races and receive the sacraments while you’re there, but for the people of Queensland’s central highlands, that’s a once-a-year possibility at the Twin Hills races.

Fr Ronaldo Rodriguez SVD says it is all part of his faith outreach to people who live in remote areas and don’t always manage to make it to a church.

Twin Hills is 140km north-west of Clermont and the annual race day, rodeo and camp drafting weekend there is one of the biggest annual events on the calendar for the people of the surrounding districts.

The area falls within the cluster of parishes that Fr Ronaldo looks after in Capella, Clermont, Dysart, Middlemount, Mornbah and Tieri in the central-western part of the Rockhampton Diocese.

“Among the highlights of my ministry in the cluster are the conversion and full communion of some adults to the Catholic Christian community and my unique annual reach-out in terms of celebration of the Sacraments at the horse racing event in the bush at Twin Hills,” Fr Ronaldo says.

In an area where the percentage of practising Catholics ranges from 11.5 per cent to 2 per cent, Fr Ronaldo says the races is a great place to meet people and offer the sacraments.

The Peak Downs Catholic Cluster of Parishes takes in a vast area, with coal mining the main employer of people. There is also some beef cattle farming in the areas around Clermont, Capella and Dysart.

There is a significant portion of fly-in, fly-out workers to the mines, which poses both challenges and opportunities for the local community.Fr Ronaldo says the cluster of parishes operates collaboratively, with lay people playing an important role.

“The ministries are cooperatively engaged in by a religious sister, lay leaders, teachers, volunteers and myself, which for me is one of the strengths in the cluster,” he says.

“Our pastoral ministries include adult formation, sacramental programs, RCIA, baptism preparation, liturgy and sacraments, music ministry, Bible sharing, catechism in state schools, pastoral care and outreach to the sick and elderly at nursing homes, hospitals and also to the housebound.”

Fr Ronaldo with hospital patient 350Fr Ronaldo says the district is facing tough economic and social times on a couple of fronts, with the downturn of the coal industry and a serious drought.

“Accordingly, workers have been made redundant, most families are moving and the church financial resources are dwindling,” he says.

There are also long distances between the churches of the cluster, which make it hard to build a cohesive community.

But, taking the sacraments to the Twin Hills races is one example of Fr Ronaldo’s desire to meet people where they at and invite them into the community of faith.

Fr Ronaldo says plans for the future of this cluster of parishes in western Queensland are “still cooking”, but have started with a “listening engagement” by Bishop Michael McCarthy which will lead up to the Rockhampton Diocesan Pastoral Assembly next year.