Six successful Parish Pastoral Councils have been formed. The Diocesan Parish Services Team with a task group prepared the parish over several months and the first Parish Pastoral Council met on 24 August 2007. Their two year term was followed by new councils in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. Our Parish Pastoral Council meets monthly to discuss and plan the pastoral activities in the parish. The Parish Services Team continues to assist, particularly with development of a Parish Pastoral Plan aligned to the Diocesan Pastoral Plan. Several Parish Assemblies have been held. The Parish Services Team facilitated these days around the spirituality of Stewardship and development of our Pastoral Plan, actioned by parish groups and reviewed each year. Copies of the Pastoral Plan are available from the parish office.
Our Parish Finance Council is an advisory body to the parish priest regarding the financial affairs of the parish. The council members meet with the parish priest every other month to discuss and plan for the parish project throughout the year. The council has been reconstituted with new members and new guidelines, and regular financial reports are provided to parishioners.
We have a Stewardship committee, which meets monthly to plan and promote thanksgiving for God’s gifts and supports ministries in the parish, particularly welcome and hospitality. We have a Directory of Parish Ministries, a Parish website and a Parish library. We provide a Welcome Pack to new parishioners including information about parish activities and enrolment forms for Sacramental preparation of children.
Our Liturgy committee arranges all liturgies for weekend Masses and sacramental celebrations, and provides training for readers and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. Choirs at all weekend Masses are a feature of parish life and represent our different cultures. We have Children’s choir at 8am and Youth Choir at 10am on First Sunday Masses monthly. Also 6pm Vigil Choir, 8am Parish choir, Samoan Choir and 10 am Gift of God choir serving other weekend masses. Parishioners support them with practice and music.
Holy Communion is taken to the sick in their homes and at Frank Whiddon Homes each week, usually after Mass on weekdays and Sundays. Mass is celebrated at Frank Whiddon Homes once a month, Word and Communion Service celebrated fortnightly. We have healing Masses on first Saturdays, and one or more large healing services each year.
In 2015 a long term parishioner left a bequest to the parish. The Parish Pastoral and Finance Councils decided to use her gift to provide transportation for our aged and mobility restricted parishioners to attend Mass as well as parish and diocesan events. In 2016, the Parish Pastoral Council formed the Outreach Ministry Committee to plan and establish the guidelines for this ministry. In March 2017, a new 10 seater commuter bus with wheelchair lift commenced operation. This ministry has now provided transportation to older and mobility restricted parishioners to rejoice us for weekend Mass and other parish celebrations.
Sunday school is provided every two weeks. At the 10am Mass, the priest blesses the children, then catechists take them to Sunday classes during our Liturgy of the Word. In the Sacramental Preparation program, our coordinators of Baptism, First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion as well as Confirmation prepare the children for receiving their Initial Christian Sacraments. This year we have 17 catechists spreading God’s word in five public schools. We are teaching classes from Kindergarten to Year 6. Most of us are now in our senior years so the ministry needs some younger people to volunteer their time.
Our Events Committee arranges social and fund raising activities, cultural festivals and other refreshment services in our parish. This ministry also coordinates annual bush dances, parish dinners, parish feast day and multicultural festival celebrating the national foods, costumes and dances each year. These events have developed our sense of belonging to the parish.
We also have weekly prayer groups, Bible Study group, and Marian devotions as well as the Alpha. Our Parish music ministry enhances the liturgy by leading the assembly in song at weekend Masses and on special liturgical occasions. Our Hospitality ministers provide an atmosphere of welcome to all parishioners and visitors coming to Mass on weekend. The Parish roster Church cleaning team usually cleans the church on Saturdays and a group of four men also come to clean the Church every Monday morning.