On Friday 4 January, a ceremony was held in St Marys for the foundation of the new House of the Holy Spirit for the Polish Province of the Order of Preachers, better known as the Polish Dominicans.
The historic event was a milestone for the Diocese of Parramatta and for the Polish Dominicans in Australia.
The Polish Dominicans were brought to the diocese by Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP when he was Bishop of Parramatta in co-ordination with the Dominican Province of the Assumption in Australia.
The new house was the former Holy Spirit House of Formation before Holy Spirit Seminary was built at Harris Park.
Vice Provincial of the Polish Dominicans Jaroslaw Glodek OP travelled to Sydney to proclaim the establishment of the House.
During the ceremony, Father Andrew Fornal OP, parish priest of St Joseph’s Parish, Kingswood, was appointed as the first superior of the priory.
Five Dominican brothers will make up the new priory, with three based in Sydney and two based in Melbourne.
Present at the ceremony was the Australian Dominicans Prior Provincial, Very Rev Anthony Walsh OP, Archbishop of Sydney Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, Vicars General Very Rev Peter G Williams and Very Rev Christopher de Souza, who represented the Diocese of Parramatta.
Father Piotr Kruk OP, WSU and Campion College chaplain, said that the opening of the house is important to the mission work of the Polish Dominicans.
“Part of our mission can begin now that we have a base in Australia and now there is a Superior in Father Andrew,” he said.
“Now it will be much more easier for our Province to send brothers from Poland to Australia.”
The opening of the priory was supported by members of the Dominican Sisters community in Blacktown and Australian Dominicans from the priory in Forest Lodge.
Attendees shared in a dinner following the ceremony.