News & Events Weekly Update

16 November 2020


News and Events across the Diocese of Parramatta and beyond


Diocese of Parramatta Notices


Diocese of Parramatta COVID-19 update

Parishes across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains have COVID-Safety plans in place requiring social distancing, maximum attendance figures and other safety measures. We also highly recommend wearing masks to Mass and other services. You are encouraged to check with your parish on what measures they have in place before attending. For more information, please visit the Diocesan website

Welcome to The Well

The Diocese of Parramatta proudly announces its latest initiative – The Well. In what can be described as ‘Netflix for Catholics’, The Well is a new online platform that provides free, ‘on-demand’ inspiration for families, children, young people and faith communities. Explore fresh offerings every week on topical issues that inform, entertain and challenge. Check it out at

CatholicCare is still open and operational

CatholicCare Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains services remain open and operational during the current COVID-19 outbreak. Individual offices have been closed to clients, but the service continues to operate with care and support offered via phone, video conferencing/telehealth and online. Some programs are continuing to run groups via video conference. To make a referral, call (02) 8843 2500 (Mon-Thu 8.30am-8pm, Fri 8.30am-5pm, Sat 9am-1pm), email – or visit

Natural Fertility Services is still open

Following COVID-19 restrictions, Natural Fertility Services has reintroduced face-to-face instruction. We will, however, continue with Zoom meetings as this has enabled more couples access to information. We have educators available to teach any of the three methods of Natural Family Planning. If you would like more information, or to book an appointment, please contact Catherine via email or call 0400 427 605.

Office for Worship Resources available

The Office For Worship has a range of resources available for purchase for individuals and parishes. Resources such as parent material for a child’s baptism and a collation of prayers can be purchased from the Office For Worship by contacting (02) 8838 3457.

Catholic Youth Parramatta engaging young people in new ways

Catholic Youth Parramatta has established a dynamic schedule of networking opportunities, formation and resources to support ministry and engagement with young people of the Diocese in new ways. From inspiring quotes and scripture references on Mondays, to faith-filled live performances on Wednesday to launching new home-grown resources on Friday. Check out CYP’s Facebook and Instagram pages and to download and share the resources.

Diocese of Parramatta Tribunal remains open

The Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Parramatta remains open and committed to assisting anyone who has questions regarding marriage annulments. Please direct all enquires to the Tribunal office on 8838 3480 or email The office is open Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm.

St Bernadette’s Lalor Park Wednesday Evening Devotions

St Bernadette’s Parish, Lalor Park, is hosting weekly devotions to Mary Immaculate and St Bernadette every Wednesday evening at 7pm, followed by Mass at 7.30pm. All are welcome. For more information, contact the parish office on 02 9672 4037 or

Social Justice COVID-19 Food and Toiletries Drive

Jesuit Refugee Service and House of Welcome are dealing with a 400% increase in emergency assistance calls and are needing to feed over 1,000 people facing destitution each week. You can help by running a food and toiletry drive or donating yourself. For more information, contact Patrice Moriarty 0409 399 505 or, House of Welcome or JRS

Bishop’s Christmas Appeal

This Christmas, let us unite in demonstrating God’s unconditional love and keep families together. Your compassionate gifts and prayers will help CatholicCare’s Project Elizabeth to support vulnerable families to build strong, loving relationships. You can help give people the emotional and practical support they need to live their lives in love and joy. Please give generously to the Bishop’s Christmas Appeal:

Life, Marriage and Family Office Marriage Preparation Courses

The final weekend marriage preparation course run by the Diocesan Life, Marriage and Family Office will be held on 27 and 29 November with limited places available. Dates for the 2021 in-person weekend courses are now available, with the SmartLoving Engaged Online course another option to prepare for your marriage. For more information, or to book your course, visit or call (02) 8838 3460.

Office for Worship Short Formation Course for Readers

The Office for Worship will be running a short formation course focussing on the practicalities of Reading at Mass with guest presenter Br Michael Dredge cfc. It will be held over three dates:

  • Thursday 19 November – 7-9pm at Institute for Mission, Blacktown

If you are interested, or would like more information, please contact the Office for Worship on (02) 8838 3456 or

Pastoral Council Formation and Training

The Pastoral Planning Office is leading a series of formation and training sessions for new and continuing members of parish pastoral councils via Zoom on 11, 18 and 25 November from 7.30pm. Our parish pastoral councils offer a wonderful way to explore how communities can “go and make disciples”. To register, please visit and for enquiries, please contact Lisa Bright on 0448 652 720.

Permanent Diaconate Information Session: 12 December

Couples considering a call to the Permanent Diaconate are invited to attend an information session on Saturday 12 December from 10am to 12noon at the Institute for Mission, Blacktown. Couples who decide to proceed with the discernment process will be asked to meet with the Vocations Committee in 2021. To RSVP, please contact Deacon Willy Limjap on 0428 332 619 or or Deacon George Bryan on 0408 440 769 or



Other Notices


Positions Vacant:

  • Head of Mission Integration – Caritas Australia

For more details, please visit

  • Assistant Principal Religious Education – Murrupurtiyanuwu Catholic Primary School is situated at Wurrumiyanga, Northern Territory – Applications close 16 November
  • Principal – MacKillop Catholic College, Palmerston, Northern Territory – Applications close 23 November

For more details, please visit

Diocese of Broken Bay Office Space for Lease

The Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay has Office space for lease in the Caroline Chisholm Centre in Pennant Hills. If your organisation is looking for a competitive price on Office Rental accommodation, please call Phil Greenwood on 02 8379 1671 or email for more information.

Donate to Caritas’ Asia Emergency Appeal

Caritas Australia’s thoughts and prayers are with the people of the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia, who have been devastated by unprecedented flooding. Homes have been destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing to evacuation centres, where the risks of spreading COVID-19 are high. With your help, Caritas can provide vital support to those affected by this and other disasters. Donate today at or by calling 1800 024 413.

St Mary’s Towers Retreat Centre Staged Reopening

St Mary’s Retreat Centre in Douglas Park, NSW, has re-commenced its 2020 retreat program. A range of six-day retreats running from October to January 2021 have spaces available, with some reaching capacity. For more information on the available retreats, please contact, phone (02) 4630 0233 or visit

Madonna magazine – a gift of spiritual sustenance that lasts a whole year

Madonna magazine, published by Jesuit Communications, is an ideal spiritual companion – containing daily prayers, deep reflections and faith-focused articles. We invite you to subscribe or consider taking out a gift subscription for a loved one for only $53 a year. You can find out more about Madonna, how to subscribe, purchase a gift subscription or donate a subscription on the website:

Mt Schoenstatt Spirituality Centre is taking bookings for 2020/2021

As a COVID-safe registered business, the Mt Schoenstatt Spirituality Centre, Mulgoa, is once again available for personal or small group bookings to discern and plan for what the future might look like. They have also begun taking bookings for 2021, with numbers set to increase as restrictions return to normal. For more information, please call (02) 4773 8338, email or visit

Vote to authorise The Sydney Statement

After numerous workshops and drafts over 18 months, Youth PoWR (Parliament of the World’s Religions) launched The Sydney Statement, a new charter for interfaith relations on Thursday 15 October. Young adults aged 18-35 from different religions are encouraged to vote for The Sydney Statement and to authorised its publication. Don’t miss out on this chance to transform interfaith relations in Sydney and beyond. Voting is online at

Worldwide Marriage Encounter Marriage Enrichment Weekend: 20 – 22 November

The Worldwide Marriage Encounter are hosting a Marriage Enrichment Weekend from 20 to 22 November at the Mt Carmel Retreat Centre, Varroville, NSW. Learn to become the best version of yourselves together and live your best life in love. Book online at or contact Christine and Terry Mahony on 0490 774 419 or

Verbum Dei Online Married Couples Retreat: 22 November

You are warmly invited to an online Married Couples Retreat a time to dialogue with the Lord and our spouses, to grow our Domestic Church. The retreat will be held via Zoom on Sunday 22 November from 11am to 1pm AEDT. Join the meeting using ID: 814 9971 2768 and passcode 035034. For any queries or additional information, please contact Rowena and Ace on 0414 290 297 or email

Rachel’s Vineyard Healing after Abortion Retreat: 4 – 6 December

Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat offers women and men a sanctuary in which to rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion in a safe, supportive and non-judgmental environment. The next healing retreat will be held 4 to 6 December 2020. Rachel’s Vineyard has created a confidential free online individually guided reflection at a time to suit you. To enquire about these programs, call their confidential number (voice mail): 0400 092 555 or visit

Catholic Engaged Encounter Weekend: 21 – 22 February 2021

How prepared are you for marriage? Engaged Encounter provides you with deeper insights into each other and into married life. We give you a chance to spend time together to strengthen and enrich your relationship. The next Engaged Encounter Weekend will be held on 21 – 22 February 2021 at St Joseph’s Baulkham Hills. For further information and to register, visit


For more events please go to:

Please note, some of these notices have been provided to the Diocese of Parramatta, with the request they be made available to parishes and parishioners. The Diocese of Parramatta makes these notices available for information purposes only and does not expressly endorse any of this material, unless otherwise specified. The Diocese of Parramatta cannot be held responsible for any inaccurate or defamatory content.


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