Bryanston Parish Celebrates Turning 50!
By Daluxolo Moloantoa – The church of the Resurrection in Bryanston, Johannesburg, marked its 50th anniversary with much fanfare and celebration.
Johannesburg’s Auxiliary Bishop Duncan Tsoke, the main celebrant at the jubilee Mass, urged the congregation to recall the parish’s infant days, and to also look ahead to its next 50 years, with the question “Who am I in Christ?” in mind.
He also called on parishioners to pray for South Africa, and its leadership.
“We must pray for our country and its leadership to turn away from greed and corruption,” Bishop Tsoke said. “We must ask Our Lord to renew the nation, and to resurrect a spirit of service to people, before personal profit.”
During the intercessions, prayers were said in 13 languages, including Gaelic, Swahili and Mandarin. After Mass, lunch was served in the church hall, followed by a music concert.
Organised to mark Heritage Month, the concert featured various groups in the parish showcasing their traditional attire and dances. The star of the dance-floor was Bishop Tsoke himself, who wowed attendants with his moves.
Also, a best-dressed family was rewarded with prizes.
Parish priest Fr Keith Gordon-Davies spoke of the excitement of witnessing the parish’s growth. “There’s been a huge transformation over our 50 years, leading us to the multicultural and diverse group we are today,” he said.
Among parishioners enjoying the day was Sophie de Bruyn, one of the leaders of the historic 1956 Women’s March.
St Catharine OSU, who was a primary school teacher at neighbouring Brescia House, recalled the farm occupying the land where the parish is today.
“The girls would stand on milk crates at the school fence, and feed the horses and pigs in the farm,” she reminisced.
Sr Catherine also shared fond memories of how the parish’s founding priest, Fr Ronan Byrne CP, would visit farms all the way to Fourways, collecting Catholic farmworkers for the Sunday 15:00 Mass.
She also recalled the significant role the late, long-serving parish priest Fr Michael Fitzpatrick CP played in the Bryanston church community.
Earlier this year Bryanston parish marked its half-century with a well-attended pilgrimage to the Holy Land, spearheaded by parishioner Anthony Sturges.
No parish in South Africa sells as many copies of The Southern Cross as Bryanston.
The jubilee day’s programme director, Lindiwe Siddo-Sangweni, rounded off the festivities with a vote of thanks to all involved in the celebrations.