The second youngest parish of the Diocese of Parramatta has appointed their second-ever parish priest.
Fr Carlos Walker IVE was officially installed as Parish Priest at Our Lady of the Angels Parish, Rouse Hill, by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop Of Parramatta.
Given the name of the parish, some may say it was appropriate that the installation took place on the Solemnity of All Saints, 1 November.
Fr Carlos had been Parish Priest at St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Parish in the Upper Blue Mountains since 2018.
“We feel flattered, we feel honoured, we feel privileged to be here,” Fr Carlos told the congregation at the conclusion of Mass, also referring to new assistant priest Fr Omar Mazzega IVE, also from the Upper Blue Mountains.
“When it was proposed that we come here, I was both thrilled and a bit intimidated because I knew it was a huge parish with wonderful schools, a lot of young people and young families.
“I am overwhelmed by this community, the response and the commitment,” Fr Carlos said.
Bishop Vincent said he hoped the community would be strengthened by Fr Carlos and Fr Omar and would partner with them to carry out the mission of the church community.
“God works certainly in mysterious ways in bringing both Fr Carlos and Fr Omar here for service to our church, our diocese and, our parish here at Rouse Hill,” he said.
“Let this new beginning be the opportunity for us to deepen our sense of being a presence of God, an oasis of hope and Good News, a place where healing and solidarity are at home.”
While COVID restrictions kept celebrations small, parishioners watched the Mass via livestream, sending well-wishes and blessings on both Fr Carlos and Fr Omar in their ministry.
Bishop Vincent acknowledged Fr Warren Edwards, the founding parish priest, who is now serving in the Archdiocese of Hobart, for building a community of faith, hope and love.
“I thank him for his dedication, leadership and service especially in establishing this community from a loose collection of individual families into a community,” he said.
As Fr Carlos pledged to do his best, he added, “I love the way people feel about the church – this is our parish. The church is beautiful, but it is only a reflection of the faith-filled community that animates it.
“The church is only out here because it was in people’s hearts and faith first, and this is what I am inspired about.”