Parish Repository Raises R120 000 for Training Priests
The repository of a Johannesburg parish has raised R120000 for a priests’ training fund. Parishioner Pam Goemans of St John’s church in North Riding, Johannesburg, had been looking for something special to do, and when asked if she would like to take over the repository eight years ago, she knew it was God answering her prayer.
Oblate Priests Education Fund
“I approached Fr Jonathan Petersen OMI, then our new parish priest, to ask him whether all the profits from the repository, instead of going into the general church takings, could go towards the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate Priests’ Education Fund, which is very important to me,” she recalled.
The parish’s finance committee agreed and issued the go-ahead.
At the time the repository was just one small counter in the foyer of the church, with no display cupboards or storage facilities, stocking only a few items.
Ms Goemans approached Fr Petersen for a loan and immediately set out to get stock. Norman Towell, brother of former parish priest Fr James Towell OMI, offered to supply his handmade wooden crucifixes; a parishioner had a mother who made magnificent rosaries; and another parishioner made candles which could be personalised for baptisms, weddings, First Communions and confirmations.
The New Shop
With all the products now filling the repository, space was next on the agenda.
“We were outgrowing our space in the foyer, and luckily for me, the parish was undergoing a huge building process to enlarge our church. I asked if we could have a new repository,” Ms Goemans recalled. She was given permission, as long as she undertook the project herself.
“We were assigned an ideal space right at the door of the church. I shopped around and found someone to install the cupboards, and together we planned and designed the new shop,” she said.
In its new setting, the repository flourished. The team has been able to donate more than R120000 to the Oblates’ education fund, with its latest donation being 15 base-and-mattress set beds to the novitiate in Germiston. Novice master Fr Rodney George OMI said he was delighted with the donation of the beds.
Rosaries The Best Sellers
At the repository the rosaries are the best sellers, as well as the personalised candles. They also sell lots of wooden crucifixes, pictures, greeting cards and a large selection of Italian statues.
One of their biggest sales was a concrete garden statue of Our Lady and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and they have recently supplied and shipped a large statue of Our Lady to a parish in Port Elizabeth.
Ms Goemans appreciates the time and effort given by her team of 20 plus reliable and dedicated helpers.
Angela Amorim, who sells The Southern Cross in the parish, helps with the packing and marking of goods in the repository as a school initiative of De Sallle Salle Collge.
“We have come a long way from our one little counter,” Ms Goemans said. “I feel blessed to have been given this task and thank God for his many blessings,” she said, adding: “Fr Petersen reckons we have the best repository in South Africa.”
Contact the repository: email – firstname.lastname@example.org,
Telephone – 011-791-0167; Cell – 083-307-0315