The church known as the “cathedral of the west” is turning 25 in 2018 – and the Fairfield community is invited to celebrate.
Our Lady of Victories Church, Horsley Park was officially opened and blessed on September 3, 1993.
The church replaced the little red brick church which the Marion Catholic Primary School currently use as a hall. Chairperson of the parish council Martin O’Connell said what is remarkable about the building of the church is how it came about.
“It was built with a lot of community spirit,” he said.
“Looking through the old documentation there was a lot of people who donated their time and provided free labour and most of the materials were donated by people in the Horsley Park community.”
Fr Phillip Gambin, who had a vision of building a new church for the parish, said in his opening address: “If there is anyone who deserves a heroic medal it should go to the parish community of Horsley Park and to all those from outside the parish.”
To celebrate the milestone, the church is hosting two major events. The first is their annual Feast Day on Sunday, September 16.
The program begins with a rosary procession at 2pm (which will be followed by mass) and finishes with an evening of entertainment, performances and fireworks.
One of the main attractions this year is the inflatable human foosball court which will held on the Marion School Oval.
The second celebration is a first for the area.
The Light of Christmas Festival will be start on December 1 and illuminate the church, bell tower and driveway in a Christmas-themed lights show each night and ending after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.
There will also be activities running in the church including school performances, singers, the rosary and special guest speakers from 8pm to 11pm.
Fairfield Council are also finalising plans to light up the trees along The Horsley Drive and set up a Christmas feature in Horsley Park.
“The vision for the church is celebrating the community and is not all about the practising parishioners. We have always served the community at large,” Mr O’Connell said.
Since the building of the main church, there has been various building additions, including the construction of the car park, driveway, roundabout and bell tower.
The 2016 census shows Horsley Park has the fourth highest (79.6 per cent) ratio of Christians in Sydney.