PARISH PRIESTS: Former parish priests travelled to St Joseph's Church, Gayndah, for the parish centenary in its current building on April 18, 2015. From left: Father Pat Dowd, Father Leo Skelly, Father Ellis Clifford, Father Jason Middleton (current parish priest), Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Father Chukwudi Chinaka, Father Adrian Farrelly (Vicar Judicial), Father Verney Costigan. Photo Contributed
PARISH PRIESTS: Former parish priests travelled to St Joseph's Church, Gayndah, for the parish centenary in its current building on April 18, 2015. From left: Father Pat Dowd, Father Leo Skelly, Father Ellis Clifford, Father Jason Middleton (current parish priest), Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Father Chukwudi Chinaka, Father Adrian Farrelly (Vicar Judicial), Father Verney Costigan. Photo Contributed Contributed

100 years of worship celebrated

JOY in song, prayer and thanksgiving marked the centenary of St Joseph's Catholic Church in Gayndah on Saturday.

The centenary service was led by Archbishop Mark Coleridge, assisted by parish priest Fr Jason Middleton and six former Gayndah parish priests.

Fr Middleton said the Archbishop spoke of the fact that "the church arrived at a time of war and hopelessness…but stands as a monument to Easter hope".

"Indeed a week before Anzac Day at Gallipoli, on April 18, 1915, all roads led to the site of the newly constructed church in Gayndah, formed from sand and stone from the nearby bed of the Burnett River," Fr Middleton said.

"On the same day 100 years later, we gathered together to remember and give thanks for the past and all who have gone before us."

While St Joseph's parish was established in 1871, the current building was dedicated on April 18, 1915 by Archbishop James Duhig at a service attended by 800 people.

On Saturday, a foundation stone commemorating the building's dedication and centenary celebrations was unveiled, and Archbishop Coleridge blessed the new stained glass windows.

Wendy Lutvey said 200 people celebrated the centenary, which began with a composition, Our Song Will Soar, by Gayndah musician Helen Morris.

Fr Bernie Costigan, who served as parish priest from 1970 to the end of 1972, said the mass and liturgy were very moving.

"I couldn't get over the singing and volume of singing, and the enthusiastic prayers," Fr Costigan said.

"It was a lovely surprise as to how many remembered me (as) a lot of them were school children (when I served here)."

Jan Lutvey said she was still amazed to worship in the "very same building that was 100 years ago".

"For myself, it was a fruitful 100 years and I'm looking forward to the next."