Message for the Bishop’s Father’s Day Appeal 2021

27 August 2021


The Diocese of Parramatta’s Clergy Support Foundation helps provide care for retired clergy who have served in our parishes across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

There are 20 Parramatta clergy who are currently retired – 1 bishop, 17 priests and 2 deacons – all of whom are grateful for the support the people of the Diocese provide to them, when they donate to the Foundation.

The Bishop’s Father’s Day Appeal for Retired Clergy will be held on the weekend of Father’s Day – 4 and 5 September.

If you would like to help care for our clergy, please click here to make a donation


Message from Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta

My Dear People,

At his ordination, a priest lays down in a symbolic gesture to show that he offers his whole life for the Church. Our Clergy Support Foundation shows appreciation for this lifetime of service.

When Fr Ashton retires after 42 years of service at Sacred Heart Parish, Mount Druitt South, and 59 years as a priest, our Clergy Support Foundation will be there for him – providing accommodation, devoted practical care and guidance, health support, living essentials, transport to medical appointments and financial assistance, where needed.

Your gift helps support 20 retired clergy in our Diocese. Many serve well into their 70s, caring for the spiritual life and welfare of God’s people.

The Diocese of Parramatta Clergy Support Foundation assists Diocesan priests who have retired or who are in ill-health. The support the Foundation provides can include financial assistance for the provision of welfare, maintenance, the necessities of life and even relief from poverty. Supporting the Clergy Support Foundation allows us to acknowledge priests who have ministered throughout our Diocese over many years, but who are now in need of our assistance.

While the Diocese is blessed to have many clergy aged over 65 still active in their Diocesan ministry, it is also true that in the near future, many of these will need our support. You can show your support for these priests by making a donation at any time to the Clergy Support Foundation, or by leaving a bequest to the Foundation. Please give generously to this year’s Father’s Day Appeal.

Thank you for generously caring for those who have cared selflessly for our faith community. Please keep our beloved priests in your prayers.

Yours sincerely in Christ,
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv
Bishop of Parramatta


Fr Carl Ashton – Parish Priest of Sacred Heart Parish, Mt Druitt South

When I was at school, I was at St Aloysius’ College which is in North Sydney, I did my secondary schooling there, we would have a retreat every year and the priest came one day to give the retreat, a two-day retreat, and one of the questions he put to the boys was, he said, you should think about the priesthood, you might be able to study something else and just think about it for a moment, give some thought to it.

I intended and hoped to follow a career in science, but anyway, I thought I’ll give it some thought because he suggested it.

So, I began to think about it a bit more than I ever had before, and eventually kept on thinking about it and it occurred to me that I’m only going to be in this life once, I’ll never get a second chance, I’ve only got one chance, and if I become a priest it will certainly help my eternal salvation.

So eventually I came to the conclusion that I should at least try it out, so I then applied.

I came here in 1979 [Mt Druitt South]. I lived in an old farmhouse which is just behind the church here and the area was completely different to the way it is now.

The population was mostly Australian people then, and it’s slowly evolved to what it is now, which is multi-ethnic, but really the style of work has been the same all the time, providing the grace of God for souls and providing all the Church wants them to have.

Now it’s up to 42 years, I’ve astounded myself, it’s been so long. But the work has been the same all the time, trying to provide the grace of God for souls, to help them save their souls. That’s why I came here.

So, I hope I’ve done that through these years. One year has just followed the other without me evening noticing it.

Please give generously to our Father’s Day Appeal for sick and retired priests who no longer have families to help them to assist them in their old age.


Cecile – Parishioner at Sacred Heart Parish, Mt Druitt South

How blessed we are to have such a beautiful and caring, wonderful person like Fr Ashton, who sacrifices all his life and is willing to give all his time and life in the service of the Lord.

Fr Carl Ashton, our parish priest, is retiring later this year, so I will always pray to our dear Lord, to look after him and to the community to extend their love and support for him and for all the other retired priests so they can be comfortable in their retirement.





To donate to the Clergy Support Foundation Bishop’s Father’s Day Appeal for Retired Clergy, visit


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