30,000 people are expected to eventually live in the area of St Luke’s Catholic Community, Marsden Park, developing into a bustling residential and commercial district from what were pastoral fields.
It’s a big job for Deacon Tony Hoban and his wife Annette, who moved into the area in early January 2018 to build relationships and start the faith community. Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, appointed him Pastoral Director. This community is hoped to eventually become its own parish.
This Sunday 11 March, you can join Deacon Tony, Annette and an anticipated 170 others at St Luke’s Catholic College, Marsden Park for a BBQ lunch and chat about the future of St Luke’s Catholic Community, Marsden Park, especially regarding prayer, worship, evangelisation, hospitality and charitable outreach.
“St Luke’s Catholic College has been a great collaborator. The Principal Greg Miller and Julie Atkins, Director of Mission, have been very supportive,” Deacon Tony said.
“We no longer have a view of school and parish but Church and mission,” he said.
Fr Chris de Souza is the supervising priest of the parochial district and said the Opening Mass of the school year recently.
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St Luke’s Catholic Community is formally a parochial district in Canon Law but because the term is probably unfamiliar to most, the choice was made to name it a Catholic faith community.
An advisory group has been formed of local people from a variety of backgrounds to steer the early days of the community. Richard McMahon from the Pastoral Planning Office has also been very helpful in the nascent community.
The BBQ and chat is the first opportunity for Catholics in the area to share their hopes for the fresh community. It will exemplify the community involvement and hospitality that it is hoped the community will foster. Free sausages will be provided, as well as food brought by 30 volunteers.
“Starting from scratch is a big opportunity, very exciting,” Deacon Tony said.
The parish looks to other successful communities in new developments, such as St Mary MacKillop Parish, Oran Park. The pastoral vision outlined in Divine Renovation by Fr James Mallon will also provide a blueprint for the burgeoning community.
The new Catholic community will affect residents of several local parishes because boundaries will be redrawn, including territory formerly in Plumpton, Quakers Hill, Emerton and Riverstone parishes.
“Fr Vincy at Plumpton allowed me to preach at each weekend Mass recently. A number of people from that area will move into Marsden Park.”
Deacons have no ability to say Mass, which will be the centre point of St Luke’s Catholic Community, so Deacon Tony has also been meeting clergy in the local area and is establishing a roster of Priests to visit and say Mass.
He is spreading the word far and wide about the new Catholic community, including a letterbox drop to all residents of Marsden Park.
Bishop Vincent will come out for the first Mass of St Luke’s Catholic Community, Marsden Park at the school on April 8 and Mass will continue each Sunday after that at 10am.
If the pastoral situation of Good Shepherd Parish, Plumpton can be a guide, the parish may aspire to one day have up to 2,500 weekly Mass goers.
“A key phrase we will be using at St Luke’s is collaboration. We have a vision for our community to be one of active discipleship of Christ where people have a sense of ownership for what happens within our faith community and beyond,” Deacon Tony said.
“We want to look inwards to nourish our faith through prayer and the Sacraments and to grow in our bonds as a community as well as looking outwards to be good neighbours and to assist people in need.”
To find out more and connect with St Luke’s Marsden Park Catholic Faith Community: