Fr Regie appointed as Father Moderator to the Mission Society of the Philippines 

By Mary-Jane Chemuel, 22 May 2024
Fr Reginaldo (Regie) Lavilla MSP after being installed as parish priest of Mary, Queen of the Family Parish Blacktown, November 2021. Image: Mary Brazell/Diocese of Parramatta


On Tuesday 26 January, Fr Reginaldo (Regie) Lavilla MSP was appointed as Father Moderator to the Mission Society of the Philippines. As he settles into his new appointment in the Philippines, he spoke to the Catholic Outlook about this appointment and bids farewell to his beloved community at the Mary, Queen of the Family Parish in Blacktown. 


Catholic Outlook: What was your reaction to your appointment as Father Moderator? 

Fr Regie: The election of MSP Father Moderator and his council, like any other religious order, is a solemn act of all the members.  It is our sacred duty to choose whom we believe God calls to lead our Society and continue the mission of Christ entrusted to us by living out our charism. Carrying this thought with me during our General Assembly (Chapter) and hearing the question if I will accept the election, I felt overwhelmed by the weight of responsibilities and felt unworthy of the calling.  

Honestly, there was a temptation to decline, but I know that it is Jesus’ calling ultimately that I also reject.  Likewise, I felt humbled but also confident that the Good Shepherd will give me all the necessary graces to shepherd my brothers in the community and our missions in different countries we are serving. 


How will your time ministering in Australia support your ministry back in the Philippines? 

Here in the Diocese of Parramatta, I grew in my skills to organise and to lead different ministries in the parish.  I had been in six parishes (Mary Immaculate, Quakers Hill, St. Matthew’s, Windsor, St. Monica’s, North Parramatta, St. Michael’s, Baulkham Hills, Our Lady of the Way, Emu Plains and Mary Queen of the Family, Blacktown) for almost 11 years.   

I was exposed to many different communities and the cultures of all the parishes, allowing me to grow in flexibility, inclusivity, openness to different ethnic cultures while remaining faithful to our Mother Church and to the commandments of Jesus to love God first of all and to love others.  All these experiences truly help me to discern and reflect the ministries of my MSP brothers working in the different parts of the world. 


What will you miss about your MQOF Blacktown community? 

 A lot! A lighter side of it is the Indian food.  The parish team (staff) and leaders are generous in giving themselves and serving the parish.  It was a big support for me as I fulfil my responsibilities as a parish priest of this big parish community. 

What else? There were lots of joyful celebrations!  I miss the elderly I visited, I miss my friends who are very supportive, I miss the weather – hahaha!  Philippines is hot and humid! 


What are you looking forward to most in your new role? 

To help animate and renew our Society, visit our mission places especially the most difficult ones, and see our five-year Thrusts, Directions, and Resolutions taking place with the help of the grace of God. 


Do you have any kind words or wishes for your Blacktown community? 

I wish that the parishioners will continue to grow to love Jesus and the community by participating in Christ’s mission to share and proclaim the Good News of salvation to others, to love each other as Jesus loves.  I wish them all strength and resilience in times of difficulties, even in persecutions, trusting in their hearts the goodness, love, and mercy of God. Likewise, I pray that they may grow in their love and knowledge of the Word of God!   


Do you have any plans to return to Australia, either as a holiday, visit or in your official capacity? 

We have MSP priests working both in Parramatta and Bunbury Dioceses.  Part of my official duty is to visit them, thus, giving me the opportunity to be back in Australia.  I hope to go back too during my break to reconnect with the people who have influenced my life and ministry as a priest. 


Read Daily
* indicates required