Parish priest Fr George Anthicad, delighted at being allocated a bee hive on the property of Lance and Helen Scriven, saw potential for using the honey produced and began by dedicating the first batch of ‘Our Lady of Mercy natural honey’ to a fund for the altar servers.
This initial batch was bottled and labelled ready for the altar servers’ end of year party. Parishioners enthusiastically purchased the jars from the children and a fund, amounting to $250, was set up for the altar servers’ expenses or events.
Fr George explains that any ongoing supply of honey is not to raise funds but is a way of offering visitors or parishioners a continuation of the message of ‘mercy’ beyond the official Year of Mercy. People may like to purchase a jar as a souvenir, to pass on as a gift or simply to enjoy on toast for breakfast! The income from the sale of this honey is intended to cover the production and equipment cost – new jars, honeycomb printed lids, the standard boxes and the labels. Fr George has focused on the work of the Year of Mercy in an engaging way with the entire process up to regulation standard.
A jar of ‘Our Lady of Mercy natural honey’ set off on tour with Fr Richard Shortall in his van on his Mission of Mercy back in August, and we have been assured that when that ran out another jar was ready for him. Fr Shortall may have shared his toast and honey up the coast and beyond − he certainly would have also shared his message of ‘mercy’.
When Fr George first encountered the Scriven bee hives he had a lot to learn. It was not easy to know what was a bee and what was a wasp from a distance. However, not only did he learn but he also acted on an idea which came to him. We congratulate him for his initiative in encouraging the altar servers and for his enterprise in endeavouring to keep the mercy message alive.