St Patrick’s Women’s Guild celebrates 50 years

The St Patrick’s Women’s Guild was founded in 1966 and in the fifty years since has made significant contributions to the Singleton community and beyond.

The group was formed by then parish priest Fr Thomas Purcell so that the Catholic community was represented at other denominations’ functions and in organisations such as the Country Women’s Association and the Red Cross.

Fundraising, including Melbourne Cup gatherings, theatre parties, cake stalls and garden parties, soon became a key element of the Guild and the group has raised money for the presbytery, St Augustine’s Hall, and the education of a Papuan student and another student through the St Vincent de Paul Society. They have donated money to such causes as the Villa Maria Home for unmarried mothers in Maitland, the Convent of Mercy Novitiate, Mercy Nursing Home, Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets, St Patrick’s and St Augustine’s Churches and Cooinda Aged Care.

The ladies are also involved in Meals on Wheels and providing refreshments after funerals. They also administer a bereavement program which involves visiting next of kin within the first month of their loved one’s death and at the first anniversary.

In April about seventy people attended the fifty-year celebration for the St Patrick's Women’s Guild ministry for the parish of Singleton, including two inaugural members, Joan Cox and Elaine Thomas.

Mass was celebrated in St Patrick's Church. John Drinan, son of the first president, Flo Drinan, lit a candle in memory of all deceased members. The Guild presented a banner of Our Lady to the parish which now hangs in St Patrick's Church.

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