The 125th Anniversary Mass on Sunday 4th May genuinely seemed to touch the hearts of the three hundred plus people who attended.

My task for this week is to discipline myself into choosing video, music and photos from three cameras that best portray what was a most moving experience. It will be a feat if I can ‘bring it in’ to be under the usually acceptable five-minute timespan to hold a viewer’s attention. But, after yesterday, I’m destined to fail!

In the interim, I share this opening part of the Mass with the Fanfare and ‘Acknowledgement of Country’, in its entirety.


It’s nothing short of Divine intervention that we celebrate the 125th Anniversary Mass at St Canice’s under blue skies. For days, weather forecasters have been promising gusty, wintery blasts from Antarctica, and rain. Thank God! They were wrong!

The Opening of St Canice’s and celebration of the first Mass was on May 5th 1889. Cardinal Moran presided.

Today’s celebratory Mass was indeed a moving, spiritual experience from so many perspectives, but one of the regular parishioners summed it up in perhaps more secular vernacular ‘sumptuous’! This is such a juxtaposition to the normal daily focus of the parish providing a welcome haven, without judgement, for the needy in our densely populated area of Sydney.

But, surely we can afford to be ‘sumptuous’ for a day – on the occasion of our 125th Anniversary Celebration!

On the long, first note of the trumpet, a palpable hush engulfed the church and the 300+ congregation rose, and stood captivated by the wonderful Prelude to Te Deum by Marc Charpentier – the Fanfare to announce the commencement of the celebratory 125th Anniversary Mass. Meanwhile I stood at the lectern, also stunned, (during a much longer pause than you see in this video, wondering ‘Is that all there is?” ). And then it started. Wonderful music – to the rafters. Thank you, Christine and thank you Ian.

The Trumpeter is Ian Cox, and the Organist (and Musical Director) is Christine Moriarty.

Today, the Principal Celebrant at today’s Mass is the recently appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese, the Most Reverend Bishop Peter Comensoli – warmly received by all. So affable, approachable, and simply enjoyed being here, mingling and chatting with parishioners for an hour after the Mass.

'Bishop Peter' speaking with The Hon Tom Hughes OA QC, a great grandson of our benefactor John Francis Hughes (1825 - 1885), who donated the land on which St Canice's was built.

‘Bishop Peter’ speaking with The Hon Tom Hughes OA QC, a great grandson of our benefactor John Francis Hughes (1825 – 1885), who donated the land on which St Canice’s was built.

Jesuit priests have served this parish for the past twenty-five years, and on this special occasion, our Parish Priest, Fr Chris Jenkins SJ and his Jesuit friends, and Fr Phil Miscamble OFM from Paddington parish join Bishop Comensoli to concelebrate this Mass.

L to R: In the photo at the beginning of the video The Most Reverend Bishop Peter Comensoli, Fr Phil Crotty SJ, Fr Frank Brennan SJ, Acolyte Graham Fear, St Canice’s Parish Priest Fr Chris Jenkins SJ, Parish Priest Emeritus Fr Steve Sinn SJ, and Fr Phil Miscamble OFM