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AUSTRALIA always loves to find a new star actor, so remember Christmas 2006 as the debut of Elijah Samuel Stone, who appears destined for a big career. Elijah has top billing for a major production this weekend. He will play Jesus in the Christmas story for St Luke’s Catholic Parish, Capalaba. Just three months old, Elijah will be back at the Degen Road church where parish priest Peter McCarthy baptised him a few weeks ago. This time in an outdoor celebration, Elijah, the fourth son of Peter and Anne Stone, of Capalaba, will be under the heavens instead of the holy water. Well, not quite, but the school undercover area may be space challenged in a summer storm. Fr McCarthy must suffer a crisis of conscience because a priest obviously cannot pray for fine weather during a drought.
THE Christmas Eve outdoor mass has become a popular event over the past 11 years since Fr McCarthy started his first parish appointment and decided to celebrate Christmas "right under the Southern Cross". He estimates about 900 people attend the annual mass and Christmas story that he says gives a focus for children and adults who appreciate an event outside the traditional church experience. "People just want to do something of a spiritual nature at Christmas and not everyone is into church," Fr McCarthy says. "This is a balance. It’s a lovely atmosphere."
A "REAL newborn" must be the lead role in any Christmas show but Elijah will compete for the attention of the congregation. The cute cast includes not only the parish children but also animals from Old Macdonald’s Travelling Farms, all in the setting of a specially built stable.
The time, 6pm Sunday; BYO chair.
"FATHER Pete" has been especially busy for the past few years at Christmas, which he calls "the boss’s birthday". He has also been in charge of St Anthony’s, Alexandra Hills, since the retirement of Fr Paul Rooney in 2004. The added responsibilities were necessary because of the shortage of priests, Fr McCarthy says.
(On Tuesday, December 19, church notices took almost a whole page in the Bayside Bulletin, Cleveland, Redland Bay, Queensland, Australia. Classie Corner will resume in the Bulletin’s sister paper, the Redland Times, on Friday, January 3).