Tori Smoothy is presented with an angel from Archbishop of Brisbane, Reverend Mark Coleridge at the Our Lady Peace 100-year celebrations.
Tori Smoothy is presented with an angel from Archbishop of Brisbane, Reverend Mark Coleridge at the Our Lady Peace 100-year celebrations. Claudia Williams

Centenary celebrations highlight Kumbia's community spirit

WHEN three young men from Kumbia were lost following World War I, the community turned to the Our Lady of Peace church.

One hundred years on, the church continues to play an important role in Kumbia, and hundreds gathered to celebrate its 100-year anniversary with Father Chukwudi Chinaka and Archbishop of Brisbane, Reverend Mark Coleridge at the weekend.

"It was a church that was born in sorrow but has been a source of peace and joy for this community throughout the 100 years and that is worth celebrating,” Rev Coleridge said.

"There is always a lot of sorrow around, but this little building says that joy is always possible.”

Rev Coleridge said the support for the church showed a great sense of community at the parish that was not always found in the city.

"The small rural communities, which have often done it tough, are the jewel and the crown of the church in Southeast Queensland,” he said.

James Curtain attended the 75-anniversary of the church and said he felt an obligation to get involved and help bring everyone together for the centenary.

He worked alongside the committee for two years in preparation for the celebrations and was proud to see people travel back to the church for the occasion.

"It has been central for a lot of people, not only people who come to church every week, but a lot of others who draw support from the church at different times in their lives,” Mr Curtain said.

"Even though we have got a good group that do meet every week, there is a larger group in the wider community that supports the church and the church supports them.”

Leader of the parish, Father Chuckwudi Chinaka said he had been welcomed with open arms since he arrived in January 2018, and admired the community's inclusion and spirit.

"I come to mass and the people really want to be here,” he said.

"They want to spend that time in prayer with each other and after mass they gather for meals every time, to take what happens in the church and get to know each other better and share the peace.”