People in Maitland have inspired the faith of the clergy this Easter weekend, the Catholic priest for the Chisholm region Father Peter Street, said.
It was also Father Street’s first Easter as a priest since he was ordained in December.
The Chisholm region is also served by two other Catholic priests who cover an area from Beresfield to Lochinvar.
Father Street spoke to the Mercury after Easter Sunday’s service at Lochinvar.
“This Easter was of special significance to me – my first Easter as a priest,” he said.
“To be able to enjoy Easter with the people of this region was wonderful.
“The faith I have witnessed by the lives of the people in this region is a special privilege.
“The inspiration I have drawn from the people in our region has done wonders for my own faith.”
Father Street baptised two babies this Easter weekend and said he also celebrated mass with a priest who had baptised him as a child.
“Easter services are so full of symbolism and these have been both a joy and privilege for me,” he said.
“Easter has not lost its meaning in our age. The numbers of people attending services are up on what they were previously.”
Father David Battrick, Anglican parish priest of St Peter’s Church in East Maitland, also paid tribute to the spirit shown at church attendances in the area this Easter.
“All over this region this weekend, Christians have been celebrating our hopes in the rising of Christ and hopes that our life will be for eternity,” Father Battrick said.
“We have celebrated the rising of Christ from the dead and that his love that can be shared by the whole community.
"This is an opportunity for us to look beyond ourselves, to the world around us and to be lifted up to something greater.”