Fr Yacub's 25th Jubilee celebration
This article appeared in the St George Leader on Wednesday, 5th December.

Silver Jubilee of the Ordination to the Priesthood of Rev. Fr Yacub Barkat, held at Rockdale.
Pictures: Anne Comber

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.

6th August, 2017 : 125th Anniversary of St Joseph's Church and School

  • Sunday, 6th August, 2017 marked the date we celebrated Rockdale's 125th Anniversary of St Joseph's Church-School and the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the current church on Sunday, 6th August, 1967.

  • The Anniversary Mass was celebrated at 10.30 am by His Excellency, Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, Apostolic Nuncio to Australia with Vicar General Very Rev. Dr Gerry Gleeson, Parish Priest Fr Brendan Quirk, Assistant Priest Fr Yacub Barkat,  Mgr Brian Rayner,         
    Fr Matthew Muller, Fr Roland Maurer, Fr Adriano Pittarello and Fr Manuel Santiago.

  • Blessing of the Rockdale Bell. The Rockdale Church Bell was blessed by His Excellency Adolfo Tito Yllana and was named Iubileaum, Latin for "Jubilee" (spelt with a capital "I" because there is no letter "J" in Latin). The Rockdale bell resounds what we have inherited from our forebears, celebrates the joy faith brings into our lives today, and will echo into the future

  • Following the Anniversary Mass, Hon. Barrie and Mrs Pauline Unsworth launched the Parish History, The Rock of St George: Celebrating the 125th Anniversary of St Joseph's Church-School, Rockdale, written by Dr Damian Gleeson.