Parishioners from Arncliffe, Bexley and Rockdale gathered on Sunday, December 2 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Ordination of Reverend Father Yacub Barkat.
Fr Yacub was ordained to the priesthood in Hafizabad, Pakistan, the second priest of the city of Hafizabad at that time.
Over the past 25 years Fr Yacub has served parish communities in Pakistan (Sialkot, Mariamabad, Gujranwala, Sheikhupura, Narowal, Kasur, Youhanabad, Lahore), Scotland and Australia.
Since coming to Australia on June 21, 2015, Fr Yacub has been Assistant Priest at St Joseph’s Parish,Enfield and now the twinned parishes of St Gabriel’s, Bexley and St Mary MacKillop’s, Rockdale.
Fr Yacub arrived at the twinned parishes on June 15, 2017 initially serving as Assistant Priest until his appointment as Administrator in February, 2018.
In addition to his Parish duties, Fr Yacub supports the Barkat Foundation. The Foundation assists students to attend school in Hafizabad.
Many are orphans who come from surrounding villages and outlying areas to attend school. The Foundation also runs a free ambulance service which can be used by the local people at any time of the day or night when they have to travel to hospitals in or outside Hafizabad.
The people of Arncliffe, Bexley and Rockdale have a proud history of supporting their parishes and have proved resilient over the years in the face of profound changes to both church and state.
Fr Yacub’s vision for the twinned parishes is one of inclusivity. Parishioners from a wide range of
backgrounds, ages and socio-economic backgrounds are encouraged to come together to celebrate their faith and express their thanks for the past and present and to work together for a shared future.