COVID-19 has impacted each of our lives in some way. Early lockdown measures were strict and at times heartbreaking, especially for those who were deprived the opportunity to farewell a loved one.
Over the course of the lockdown, as many as 30 families who organised funerals with The Cathedral Parish of St Joseph were forced to make agonising decisions on who could attend their loved ones funeral and who would only be able to watch via video link at home.
Whilst our Parish's bereavement team could not change coronavirus restrictions, they were determined to deliver these families an opportunity to gather under lighter COVID-19 restrictions to have a prayerful farewell experience.
After many months of waiting for reduced restrictions, The Cathedral Parish of St Joseph were finally able to host a memorial service for these affected families on Wednesday the 4th of November.
This short but meaningful ceremony was celebrated by parish priest Fr Bryan Hanifin and was thoroughly appreciated by the families who were able to attend.
During the earliest stages of the COVID-19 lockdown, The Cathedral Parish of St Joseph lost a long-serving and well-loved volunteer in Don MacKenzie. Don was a dedicated member of our Parish who ensured that Catholic newspapers were delivered and distributed to a number of Catholic churches in the Rockhampton region. Many parishioners at St Joseph's Cathedral would be familiar with Don's presence at a number of weekend masses as he selflessly volunteered his time selling the Catholic Leader newspaper. Don was also a tireless member of St Vincent de Paul.
Due to the restrictions at the time of Don's passing, only a small handful of family members were able to attend the funeral, with a large contingent of people being forced to watch online. Thanks to the work on the Parish Bereavement Team, many parishioners who knew Don were able to finally say farewell in a church setting.
The Cathedral Parish of St Joseph wishes to sincerely thank members of the bereavement team who organised this very special event.