News & Events Weekly Update

23 November 2021


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 are opening their doors for private prayer, Reconciliation and for the celebration of Mass and sacraments such as baptisms, weddings and funerals. Please contact your local parish to check Mass and liturgy times and the COVID-Safe arrangements in place.

Livestreamed Masses from across the Diocese of Parramatta are still available on the Diocesan website For more information, please visit the Diocesan website

‘The Well’ offers spiritual nourishment during lockdown

Need some inspiration and spiritual encouragement as we emerge from lockdown? Why not check out The Well? The Diocese’s ‘on demand’ streaming site has a tonne of video and prayer resources for you to explore and engage with. The incredible talents at Good Shepherd Youth Choir have produced two brand new covers for you to enjoy. Visit today.

Vale Fr Renato Paras

A Mass of Christian Burial for Fr Renato Paras, Pastor Emeritus of St Aidan’s Parish, Rooty Hill was celebrated at Mary Queen of the Family Parish (St Patrick’s Church) on Thursday 4 November. Born on 12 September 1938 and ordained to the priesthood on 3 December 1967, Fr Renato was a priest for 54 years. He died on 26 October 2021, aged 84. Read more at:

Vale Deacon Owen Rogers

A Mass of Christian Burial for Deacon Owen Rogers was celebrated at Corpus Christi Parish, Cranebrook on Friday 12 November. Born on 19 June 1941 and ordained to the Permanent Diaconate on 5 December 2009, Deacon Owen served in ministry for 12 years. He died on 2 November 2021, aged 80. Read more at:

Bishop’s Christmas Appeal

No mother or child should be homeless and without support at Christmas. CatholicCare’s Houses to Homes provides hope for vulnerable women and children facing abuse and hardship. Your kind donation today will help change the lives of homeless young women, who like Mary, seek a safe haven to raise their newborn child. Please give generously via the Bishop’s Christmas Appeal giving envelopes or online at

Young people of the Diocese – we are with you

“I am with you always” Matthew 28:20. The Diocese has launched a new website in response to the mental health crisis impacting our young people. The website contains links and information about services that can help young people whose wellbeing is suffering. Please share widely with young people and their families.

Diocese of Parramatta Tribunal is open

The Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Parramatta remains open and committed to assisting anyone with enquiries regarding marriage annulments. Interviews are being conducted via telephone and Zoom in response to COVID-19. Please contact the Tribunal office on (02) 8838 3480 or email

Diocese of Parramatta launches Plenary Council resource website

A new website provides resources for parishioners in the Diocese of Parramatta to stay involved in the Plenary Council, which is exploring what the future of our Church should look like. Beyond the First Assembly of the Plenary Council, visit to find a range of information, a Diocesan prayer and more as we move into a time of prayer, reflection, maturation and development.

Office for Safeguarding offering online training to keep our parishes safe

The Office for Safeguarding is providing an opportunity for all of us to develop our awareness and skills in ensuring our parishes are safe and welcoming places for all. The team are currently offering accompanied online training courses throughout November. If you are interested or have any questions about the Safeguarding Training, please email our Safeguarding office on or

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.

UPDATE: Social Justice COVID-19 Food and Toiletries Drive

Under the remaining influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and House of Welcome (HoW) cannot receive physical food and toiletry donations. However, many refugee families are still relying on their foodbanks or the provision of food vouchers. In this difficult time, please support JRS and HoW with a cash donation if you can. Find more information or call JRS on (02) 9356 3888 or HoW on (02) 9727 9290.

Life, Marriage and Family Office Marriage Preparation Courses

Dates for the Diocesan Life, Marriage and Family Office’s in-person marriage preparation weekend courses in 2022 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.

Liturgical Ministry Formation Courses 2022

The Liturgical Ministry Formation Courses will begin early next year in February. This is formation for anyone interested in serving within the Liturgical Ministries either as Readers, Extraordinary Ministers of Communion, Communion to the Sick and Dying and Ministers at the Altar. If you are interested or would like more information please contact the Office for Worship on (02) 8838 3456 or or visit our website to download an enrolment form at

Glenbrook Parish Advent Reflection Day: 4 December 2021

You are invited to join the parish of St Finbar’s, Glenbrook, for their Advent Retreat on Saturday 4 December from 10.30am to 4pm, followed by Vigil Mass at 5.30pm. The Retreat will reflect on the birth of Jesus, but also on being in touch with God through reflection on creation. Morning tea and lunch will be provided. The retreat will be $5 per person. For catering purposes, please RSVP by 29 November to

Rouse Hill Parish Christmas Novena Dawn Masses: From 16 December

This Christmas, Our Lady of the Angels Parish, Rouse Hill will be celebrating a Novena of Dawn Masses leading up to Christmas. Commencing on 16 December, they will be celebrated at 5am. Bookings are NOT required. For details, please contact the parish on or (02) 8883 4063.

World Day of the Sick Mass 2022: 11 February 2022

The Annual World Day of the Sick Mass will be celebrated by Vicar General Fr Peter Williams and clergy of the Diocese on 11 February 2022 at 11am at St Patrick’s Church, Blacktown. The Mass of Our Lady of Lourdes will be celebrated and will include the Rite of Anointing of the Sick and prayer of blessing for all carers. Refreshments will be available after Mass. For catering purposes, please RSVP to or (02) 8838 3456.

RCIA Lenten Seminar 2022: 16 and 23 February 2022

The Office For Worship will be conducting an RCIA Lenten Seminar early next year on Wednesday nights of 16 and 23 February for RCIA coordinators and teams. This seminar will focus on the understanding of Lent, and will take a closer look at the Scrutiny Readings. To register or for more information, please contact the Office for Worship on (02) 8838 3456 or


Other Notices


Positions Vacant:

  • Deputy Principal – Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School, Wanguri, Northern Territory – Applications close 1 December 2021

For more details, please visit

Support Mass for You at Home

Many people who are isolated, in prison, in hospital or don’t have internet rely on Mass for You at Home. The Catholic Mass is broadcast free-to-air each Sunday morning on Channel 10 and WIN at 6am. Find out more at

Get vaccinated for the common good

Vaccination against COVID-19 is a morally good thing, providing protection for the person vaccinated and the wider community. Some COVID-19 vaccines are associated with ethically questionable production and research practices, but Pope Francis and the Australian Bishops have advised that it is morally permissible to receive any vaccine made available. More information is available at

Vinnies Support Centres are still available to those in need

St Vincent de Paul Support Centres across Greater Sydney are still available and taking calls to arrange for food vouchers or other items to be provided to those in need. If you need assistance, call the Support Centres in Blacktown on (02) 8861 9777, Harris Park on (02) 8861 9757 and Penrith on (02) 8861 9770. To find out more about what support is available, visit

Synod of Bishops – Have your say

Catholics across Australia are invited to participate in a period of local consultation for the next international Synod of Bishops, which has the theme: “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission”. Pope Francis has invited us to embark on this journey together, with the first step being to contribute our thoughts to the conversation. You can contribute to the conversation at and find out more at

Sign the petition to welcome 20,000 refugees fleeing Afghanistan

In a sign of unity, major Australian church denominations and Christian organisations have come together to urge the Prime Minister to provide a special intake of an additional 20,000 refugees fleeing Afghanistan and support the ongoing wellbeing of all Afghan refugees and their families. For more information and to sign the petition go to

Intercultural Christmas album to raise funds for House of Welcome

A new CD featuring classic Christmas songs in eight languages from the Asia Pacific – Samoan, Filipino, Fijian, Tamil, Tongan, Mandarin, Indonesian and Japanese is raising money for the House of Welcome in the Diocese of Parramatta. Find how to order at

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:

St Mary’s Towers Retreat Centre offering residential retreats

St Mary’s Towers Retreat Centre in Douglas Park, NSW, is now open for residential retreats under COVID Safe arrangements throughout November to January 2022 on topics such as ‘Be Filled with Grace like Mary’ and ‘In the Heart of Creation with Jesus’. Retreats commence 5.30pm on the first date and conclude 2.30pm on the final date. For further information or to register for any of the retreats, email or visit

Divine Retreat Centre One Day Pilgrimage Retreat: 28 November

The Divine Retreat Centre in Somersby, NSW is hosting a one-day pilgrimage from 9am to 1pm on Sunday 28 November. All retreats are held with NSW COVID-Safe compliance and masks are mandatory. Bookings are required and limited numbers are available. Please call (02) 4372 1598 or email to confirm attendance. Visit for more information.

Holy Hour for Vocations: 2 December

The Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth invite you to participate in their monthly Holy Hour for Vocations, held on Thursday 2 December at 6pm at the Polish War Memorial Chapel, 116-132 Quakers Rd, Marayong. The prayer will also be livestreamed to the Sisters’ Facebook page ( for those who would like to join online.

Pastoral Ministry Network Oceania Webinar: 7 December

The Pastoral Ministry Network is hosting an online Oceania webinar on ‘Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor’ with Sr Kathleen Rushton on Tuesday 7 December from 11am to 12.30pm AEDT. The webinar will discuss how can we integrate this Gospel mandate to care for earth and the poor into our everyday life. To register, visit

Divine Retreat Centre Advent Retreat: 17 – 19 December

The Divine Retreat Centre in Somersby, NSW is hosting an Advent Retreat from Friday 17 December to Sunday 19 December. All retreats are held with NSW COVID-Safe compliance. For more information and bookings, please contact 0468  486 782 or email to confirm attendance. Visit for more information.

Focolare Community Mariapolis gathering: 21 – 24 January 2022

The Focolare community in Sydney would like to invite you to their annual gathering called a Mariapolis at the Collaroy Centre from 21 to 24 January 2022. The word Mariapolis literally means ‘City of Mary’ and refers to the annual Focolare gathering where youth and adults can experience how life is transformed when we live the universal values of the Gospel. For more information, please ring the Focolare centre on (02) 8971 8373.


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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