In January 1974, Cardinal Knox, Archbishop of Melbourne notified Fr Barry Moran of his appointment as Parish Priest to the new Parish of Keysborough. Established on seventeen and a half acres of land in Corrigan Road, the parish officially commenced on the 19th January, 1974. The initial debt consisted of $37,000 for the purchase of the land. Fr Barry Moran called a meeting and the formation of the Parish of the Resurrection was announced.
The parish adopted as its mission the call to worship and service, a call that has underpinned all our endeavours. A significant feature of our parish life is the provision of services for the care of all people from the "womb to the tomb".
Originally, a house at 43 Athol Road, Noble Park was leased and the Keysborough Hall on Cheltenham Road was used for Masses. Early records indicate that an afternoon tea was held on 19 January with no kettle or cups and saucers. Only two glasses were available and a bottle of Eric's finest vintage. One parishioner noticed the lack of utensils and returned some time later with some of the necessary items, that is, a kettle, cups, saucers, plates and saucepans, all courtesy of St Vincent de Paul Society. It is amazing when we look today at all that has been achieved and established over the past 32 years.
From these humble beginnings, the parish grew and today encompasses a Parish Church, Parish Centre, Primary School, Keysborough Learning Centre (Neighbourhood and Adult Education Centre), Freedom Club (occasional child care) and Caroline Chisholm Units (units for the elderly) all on the one property. We also have the added asset of an offsite residence. Working with our parish priest Fr Brian Collins are Vicki Russell, our pastoral associate and Brook Tesoriero, parish secretary, who make up the parish team. This year, we have welcomed our deanery resource co-ordinator, Fay Gubbels who works for the deanery one day a week from our parish office.
Our Parish site that was once bare land is now a bustling centre of activity where buildings and activities abound. It is important to note that much of what we do here is still based on the spirit of welcome and hospitality where having a cuppa is still a much-valued enterprise. Currently, the parish is now fully equipped for afternoon teas, having cuppas once a month after weekend masses. We regularly hold parish dinners where 20 guests are invited to share a meal together. We also generate many opportunities for social interaction with the ever-growing members of our community.
The parish has changed significantly over the years with a changing population with many of the early pioneers of Keysborough moving on to other areas. We have been blessed over the years with a great diversity of cultures, each bringing value and life to our community. The Parish continues to grow with new parishioners from new estates coming to worship at the Church. Currently there are five new estates of which the City of Greater Dandenong Council estimates some 40,000 new homes will be built. The task of welcoming these new parishioners has been a challenging one. Letter drops, welcoming kits and dinners are all part of the welcoming plan at Resurrection Parish. Although focussing on welcoming new parishioners, the parish continues to develop with the formation of our people.
The celebration of the year of Jubilee 2000 was a significant time in our parish. The jubilee themes provided a framework enabling reflection and review and the setting of direction for much of our parish life over the years that have followed. In that spirit, it is proposed that the year 2007 for us will focus on a "fallow" time. Drawing from this tradition of the seven-year cycle, we plan, offer opportunities to review, reflect and restore our community on both a personal and parish perspective. So far we are anticipating a parish review, a thanksgiving campaign, and many initiatives that will provide opportunities for prayer and the development of the spiritual dimension of our lives and our community.
As a community, we continue to hold to the vision of worship and service as adopted by our early founders. Our last formal parish review was conducted in 2001. At that time, the members of our community expressed their thoughts and feelings about our parish, which were then collated to form our parish statement of beliefs. This statement provides the model that we are proud to proclaim.