On May 12th, the parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy and St. Philip Neri in Melbourne celebrated the centenary of their parish’s foundation. Our Lady of Mercy and St. Philip Neri, Melbourne 1906 – 2006
Bishop Malcolm presided over the celebrations, which began outside the Melbourne Tea Rooms, the original Catholic chapel. After the hymn, ‘The Church’s One foundation’, the bishop gave a short welcome address and stressed the importance of the parish to the religious life of Melbourne. A prayer followed and the procession to the church began.
The Melbourne Town Band provided the music for the outdoor section of the liturgy and led the procession with great panache up Church Street from the Tea Rooms to the church. As the procession reached the church the newly hung church bell pealed exultantly.
The church was beautifully decorated for the occasion with floral displays, not only from the parish but also with flower arrangements donated by all the other four Christian churches in Melbourne.
Bishop Malcolm celebrated Mass, a truly ecumenical affair with ministers and parishioners from the Melbourne Anglican, Methodist, United Reformed and Baptist congregations present.
Parish priest, Fr.Anthony Axe, welcomed three of his predecessors who concelebrated at the Mass. They were Fr. Anthony Pateman, now at the Infant of Prague, Syston; Fr. Philip O’Dowd, parish priest of St. Hugh’s, Lincoln and Canon Anthony Dolan from St. Mary the Immaculate, Grantham.
Fr. Anthony Axe preached on this occasion and mentioned the importance of celebration in the life of Melbourne in general and in this parish in particular. Thanks to the altar servers who turned out in force, and to Henry Wilkins, the church organist, the liturgy was very special.