The Years 1986—2009
Immaculate Conception Church Jandowae

The Golden Jubilee of the Parish was held on 4th May, 1986 and in the years following the parish flourished under the ministry of Fr. Derick Furness. There were many families involved in the parish and there were large groups receiving the Sacraments of Confirmation, Eucharist and Reconciliation.

A parish renewal program was embarked on and a number of parishioners participated in the Life in the Spirit Seminars. A Prayer Meeting was held every Sunday evening and this was later changed to Friday night. Baby sitters were engaged for the children.

Father Derick encouraged the parishioners to take responsibility for their community and to use their gifts so that when he left in early 1995 a Parish Pastoral Council was already in place. Father Derick prepared us well for the future. All were invited to attend these meetings. Unfortunately, the prayer meetings ceased. Fr. Peter Doohan from the Toowoomba Diocesan Pastoral Ministry attended several meetings at this time and directed us along the right path.

Fr. Peter Murphy from Dalby became our priest director as we were the first parish without a resident priest in the diocese. When Fr. Peter went overseas, Fr. John Treacy from the Bendigo diocese ministered to the people of Jandowae. He was assisted by Fr. Clarrie Leahy. Fr. Clarrie was tragically taken from us on 28th September, 1996, in a car accident on the outskirts of Dalby after he had celebrated Mass in Jandowae. Fr. Ted Hanlon served as Administrator until mid 1998. Fr. Hal Ranger was appointed to the Dalby Parish in 1998 and he became our priest director until he moved to Warwick at Easter 2005. Fr. Hal offered Mass on a quarterly basis at Cooranga North, Jimbour and Warra.

Sr. Monica Cavanagh (the director of Pastoral Vision) attended a number of our parish meetings and encouraged us along the road. Monica was followed by Sr. Carmel Pattinson and Mr. Rob McCormack from Toowoomba.

Fr. Michael Cooney was appointed to Dalby in May, 2005, and he celebrates Eucharist in Jandowae on 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month. We are indebted to the Dalby Parish and their priests for the wonderful way in which they have nurtured us since we have been a parish without a resident priest. We conduct a Liturgy of the Word and Communion Service on 2nd & 4th Sundays of the month.

Since their arrival in the Toowoomba Diocese, the Missionary Sisters of Service missioned in the Jandowae Parish on a regular basis, visiting the homes and instructing the children. For many years, the Sisters of Mercy travelled with the priest from Dalby and held Catechism classes for the children.

In February, 1999, we were blessed by the arrival in the parish of Sr. Mary Cleary (Missionary Sister of Service) as Pastoral Leader. She has been a constant source of strength and direction for the parish. Mary has just returned refreshed from 6 months Sabbatical and we are thankful for her presence and guidance amongst us. Mary is loved by many in the town and district and is often asked to participate in funerals in the other churches. Jandowae maintains a great ecumenical spirit which was fostered in the early days. We were the first town to begin the 5th Sunday Worship Services in the Anglican, Uniting and Catholic Churches. Once a month, on a rotational basis, we have an Hour of Worship and Praise.

The Catholic Womens' League has always been encouraged by our pastoral leaders and continues to this day. Our Liturgies might be small in number but we try to be a loving, caring community. Monthly services are held at the Taralga Retirement Village and catechists attend the Jandowae, Jimbour and Warra schools. Pastoral Council meetings are now held following our Liturgy of the Word and Communion Service on the 2nd Sunday of the month. The meeting is preceded by morning tea.

We are an aging community that is very aware of the need for evangelization. It is hoped to arrange a Reconnect programme in the near future. 5 Parishioners have completed the Beginning Theology course with Sr. Mary as our tutor. Parish Dinners are regularly held in the homes of our members. A Lenten Discussion group is held in the parish with the ladies from the Anglican Church joining with us for these discussions. Bible study occurs from time to time.

May we go into the future as we are led by the Spirit. May we have the courage to accept the challenges of the modern world and face the future with hope and confidence.

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