Easter church services around Maitland

FAITH: Father Camillus Nwahia addresses the congregation at St Patrick's Lochinvar on Easter Sunday. Picture: Perry Duffin

FAITH: Father Camillus Nwahia addresses the congregation at St Patrick's Lochinvar on Easter Sunday. Picture: Perry Duffin

Hundreds of Hunter residents have flocked to churches and places or worship for the holiest week on the Christian calendar.

EASTER: The congregation at St Patrick's Lochinvar on Easter Sunday. Picture: Perry Duffin

EASTER: The congregation at St Patrick's Lochinvar on Easter Sunday. Picture: Perry Duffin

More than 100 Catholics gathered at St Patrick’s Lochinvar to hear Father Camillus Nwahia’s message on the importance of Easter.

“Our faith hinges on Easter,” Father Nwahia said.

“If Christ didn’t rise from the dead, we wouldn’t be Christians. “It’s a solemn mass. It’s the source of our faith.”

Sunday’s service was a landmark for Father Nwahia – his first Easter as a priest. He was ordained as a priest just last year and moved to the Maitland area six weeks ago.   

“We have holy week from Monday… For me it was so special, to see it from this side as a priest for the first time, brings me great joy,” he said.

Father Nwahia said Easter mass was always well attended, and particularly relevant.

“We are trying to get his message out, Christ said go to the ends of the Earth. So we’re trying to give that message to people who have not recieved it, or not put it into practice.

“The mark of Christians is love. If you love one another you wouldn’t do anything bad to one another.”

On Maundy Thursday, the celebration of the Last Supper, Anglican Archdeacon Father John Battrick urged understanding, unity and humility from his congregation.

“We cling to Jesus in a World gone mad,” Father Battrick said.

“If we are one with [Christ] we’re one with all his disciples… Brothers and sisters we are united with each other, with Christians around the World and through the centuries.”

Pope Francis struck a political line with his Easter message, urging Catholics not to ignore the plight of migrants and refugees.

"In their faces we can see reflected all those who, walking the streets of our cities, feel the pain of dire poverty, the sorrow born of exploitation and human trafficking," he said. "We can also see the faces of those who are greeted with contempt because they are immigrants, deprived of country, house and family. We see faces whose eyes bespeak loneliness and abandonment, because their hands are creased with wrinkles."