Located in the beautiful earthy outback of Queensland, St. Columba’s Parish, Mitchell is one of faith, strength and character. Shaped from its beginnings in the nineteenth century, this small rural parish in the mid-west deanery has journeyed in faith through significant changes whilst maintaining at its very core, the fundamental belief in Christ and our deep love for one another. Our faith journey can be likened to that of a rich unending tapestry, the history being woven over many years with minute and unique threads creating the culture and flavour of our parish today. There are many threads still to be sown, the hopes and dreams for our future but, this is our mystery.
Deeply influenced by the clergy, religious sisters and lay people, we are indebted to the generosity and love of our forebears. Entwined in our tapestry are the threads of events and selfless people who endured immense trials and tribulations in our harsh but unique environment to spread the word of Jesus. Those before us laid the strong foundation upon which our parish is now built. Faced with adversity, challenges and struggles, disappointments were faced and goodness rejoiced, the interwoven threads creating unity and strength. From the humble beginnings of our parish with a visiting priest arrive on horseback our-parish has completed a full circle with the servicing of the parish, once again, by a visiting priest but, in a modern automobile. A significant challenge, the people of our community have been called to respond to such a challenge without the presence of clergy. Given strength by the power of the Holy Spirit, our community has responded with determination, vigor and enthusiasm to survive maintaining its very unique identity. The . background of our tapestry is very different to what existed in the past, however, Christ has empowered us to come forth in new and involved ways reaching out and beyond.
Being a parish without a resident priest, our parish is lead by a Parish Leadership Team strongly supported by our visiting Priest and the Diocesan Family. Despite limited resources, taking responsibility and ownership for our parish has been important to us. The colours of our tapestry are varied blending together to form a remarkable workpiece, our community involved in making their own decisions, gathering regularly and worshipping, preparing our liturgies, lay people being trained undertaking various ministries including baptism and funerals, those caring for our sick, joining with our friends in other Christian faiths, our focus on ecumenism, reaching out to the wider community and less fortunate, embracing our local indigenous-people, spirituality in the community, all in a culture of love – sharing and caring.
Symbolic of our earthy being and life we embrace fire, the burning of the Holy Spirit in our hearts going forth reaching out and spreading; water, our baptismal call to be ministers to Christ in our community; the hand, Jesus’s hand guiding and strengthening and moving us forward in new ways and direction. Our celebrations have included these symbols in rituals, such beautiful rituals energizing our community and allowing a very seal connectedness with our Christ. These rituals are special and empowering moments. The people of the west enjoy an amazing spirituality and have an incredible tenacity to adapt and respond answering their call by Christ to share their individuality and giftedness.
We celebrate our faith, our community, our joys, our sorrows and our growth in a rapidly changing society but we know with the power and strength of the Holy Spirit we will go forth in faith and community blessed and enriched by Christ. The threads of our tapestry will continue to be woven and linked to bear fruit in many ways. We will not be afraid.
Churches and Mass Times
Immaculate Conception Church, Surat
St Mary’s Church, Wallumbilla