Thursday 1 March 2012
Meet parish secretaries Jenny Kelly and Mary Turner.
When I was employed 23 years ago by St Jude's Parish, my job was paying the accounts and writing them into a journal, typing the Sunday newsletter on a typewriter and recording the Thanksgiving offerings on a computer. The parish records were all on cards, only those in Thanksgiving had a record on the computer.
Today IT has increased my tasks. Now everything has to be recorded. Keeping parish family records alone is a full-time job—there is always a new enrolment, baptism, change of address, a new special minister or reader.
It is always good when we find the mistakes in the Mass sheets before we have photocopied them, but the thing I like most is the people—those who call or come in are what make the job. Some are entertaining, telling a joke or two, some need help, some come to help, some just need to have a chat.
The best thing about my parish is the volunteers. We have so many dedicated people willing to give up their time. Working in the parish office you are privileged to meet many volunteers who are 'serving the Lord with joy' (our parish motto).
Away from work I enjoy life with my family and friends and never miss a Collingwood game—go Pies!
Thirty-six years ago, my husband and I started our married life in the young parish of St Jude's, Scoresby. The hall and Mass centre had not long been built and the primary school was in its infancy. Today we have two primary schools, a community centre and the church. I have been involved with several voluntary groups and committees in the parish. Five and a half years ago I was asked to work with Jenny two days a week in the parish office. I help prepare the weekly Mass bulletin, organise rosters for counters, cleaners, bingo, pay accounts and do general reception duties.
I particularly enjoy working with Sr Mary Brady, assisting her with the preparation of special liturgies and prayer days.
Even in these days of computers, my favourite office tool is the shredder: it obliterates my mistakes with gay abandon and no questions asked.
Life in the parish office is never dull. Each day is different and rewarding, from dealing with the more mundane office activities, through to assisting parishioners with major events in their lives: births, deaths and marriages.
After work I like to relax with my family, particularly my three beautiful grandsons, enjoying a meal and a glass of red.
Photo: Jenny Kelly (left) and Mary Turner. Photo by Edwina Hall.