Springfield draws large crowd for Connect Sunday

A fun-filled FAMILY day at Our Lady of the Southern Cross Church in Springfield with parishioners encouraged to invite a friend turned into a major community event last Sunday.

Months of planning after pandemic restrictions were lifted, Connect Sunday on June 12 proved a success with 1,500 visitors enjoying free entertainment, bouncy castles, an animal farm, face painting and free food, including including sausage sandwiches, donuts, popcorn, and even Merlo barista coffee.

“Our goal was to have a day of fun, food, faith and family,” said Vanessa Comninos, director of evangelism for Our Lady of the Southern Cross parish.

“Our hope was that families would know where their parish and their home is and that no matter where they are in their lives, we are there for them.

Connect Sunday drew a large local crowd.

Connect Sunday featured the Good Shepherd Primary School Choir, as well as music and dance from St Augustine’s College.

More than 90 parish volunteers maintained the activities throughout the day.

Three Masses were held alongside the event, a youth encounter team led the parish in worship, and a prayer chapel at the center of the activity allowed people to spend time in prayer or write a prayer to hang on the prayer tree.

“The Church is changing in exciting ways,” said Joseph Thorley, member of the vocations team at Evangelization Brisbane.

“In the past, we held a party every year for the vital task of fundraising.

“It seems crazy to hold a similar event now, where everything is free. But our focus has changed; we’re building community, happily spreading the gospel, and people are loving it.

“Great things are happening.”

Over 90 volunteers helped out during Connect Sunday.

Ms Comninos said she felt “happy, blessed and relieved” Connect Sunday had been such a success, especially after parish priest Fr Mauro Conte contracted COVID-19 upstream.

“As the Connect Sunday team, we have done it. Many people have also dropped out of school due to covid, but the community is amazing, so many lovely volunteers have taken on new commitments or in more responsible ways,” she said.

“Our prayer is that our Catholic schools and families in Center Greater Springfield will now know where their home and parish is.”

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