8 April 2019 marks the 33rd Anniversary of the Diocese of Parramatta
On 8 April 1986, Pope St John Paul II created the Diocese with a Papal Bull addressed to His Eminence, Edward Bede Cardinal Clancy, then-Archbishop of Sydney.
On May 19 1986, Bishop Bede Heather was installed at the Diocese’s first bishop, and he took possession of St Patrick’s Church, Parramatta, which was elevated to a Cathedral.
The word ‘bull’ comes from the Latin ‘bulla’, the seal traditionally made from lead, with an image of St Peter and St Paul impressed on it.
The bull names Parramatta, Blacktown, Holroyd, Penrith, Blue Mountains, Baulkham Hills Shire and the Shire of Hawkesbury.
The Diocese was created to better serve the needs of the Catholic people in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
The Diocese of Parramatta is home to 330,000 Catholics in 47 parishes and one parochial district. It covers over 4000 square kilometres reaching from Dundas Valley, west to the Megalong Valley, south to Luddenham and north to Wiseman’s Ferry.
The diocese takes in seven local government divisions: Blacktown City, Blue Mountains City, City of Parramatta, Cumberland, Hawkesbury City, The Hills Shire and Penrith City, and parts of Wollondilly Shire and Liverpool City. This area encompasses the lands of the Darug people.
Although the Diocese was established in 1986, there was already a vibrant Catholic life in the area, stretching back to the beginning of European settlement.
Much has changed in the Diocese and the society in which we live in these past 33 years, but there is evidence around us that the faith is alive and well and flourishing in the lives of Catholic people who constitute the particular Church of Parramatta.
For more information about the history of the Diocese of Parramatta, please click here.