News & Events Weekly Update

21 December 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’ offering on-demand spiritual nourishment

Need some inspiration and spiritual encouragement? 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. In the lead up to Christmas, check out our featured range of videos and resources for children, families and young people to prepare us to welcome Our Lord at Christmas. Visit today.

Christmas Mass and Reconciliation Times

Christmas Mass and Reconciliation Times from parishes across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains are available now on our Diocesan website (, on Catholic Outlook ( and on our Diocesan social media channels. Merry Christmas from the Diocese of Parramatta.

Synod of Bishops – Have your say

What would you say to Pope Francis if you had 10 minutes? Catholics across the world are invited to participate in a period of local consultation for the next international Synod of Bishops. Find out how to send your message at

Bishop’s Christmas Appeal

At Christmas, no mother or child should be homeless and without support. CatholicCare’s Houses to Homes provides hope for vulnerable women and children facing abuse and hardship. In this Year of the Family, please give a compassionate donation today to 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 will reopen in 2022

The office of the Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Parramatta will be unattended from 23 December 2021 until 16 January 2022. The Tribunal remains committed to assisting anyone with enquiries regarding marriage annulments. Should you wish to contact the office during this time, you are welcome to leave a message on (02) 8838 3480 or email and they will be attended to when the office re-opens.

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 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

Arabic Mass available in the Diocese

There is an Arabic Mass open to everyone in the Diocese of Parramatta celebrated every Sunday at 7.15pm in St Michael’s Church, Blacktown, celebrated by Fr Chadi Ibrahim SDB, Assistant Priest at Mary, Queen of the Family Parish, Blacktown. Mass will be celebrated on 26 December, and then will resume after the Christmas and New Year break, on Sunday 23 January 2022. For more information, please contact the parish office on (02) 9622 1125.

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.

Blue Mountains Epiphany Pilgrimage and Fiesta 2022: 2 – 3 January 2022

Celebrate the Christmas season with a two-day pilgrimage and fiesta! Choose from a classic pilgrimage experience or family adventure pilgrimage on Sunday, 2 January then join the family-friendly festivities at St Finbar’s Parish, Glenbrook including Mass, a festive meal and children’s movie night. Stay overnight at St Finbar’s, then continue the celebrations on Monday 3 January with a morning pilgrimage and Mass in the bush. For more information and to register visit

Annual Legal Red Mass: 3 February 2022

The Annual Red Mass, which gives thanks for the work of those who serve the law, will be held on Thursday 3 February at St Patrick’s Cathedral at 7pm, followed by a light supper. It is also an opportunity to reaffirm a commitment to justice and faith. For catering purposes, please confirm your attendance by emailing or by phone to (02) 8839 8400.

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


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

Catholic Earthcare Parishes Programs

Catholic Earthcare Australia now makes it easy for parishes to take up the Australian Bishops’ invitation from the 2021-22 Social Justice Statement to join them in pursuing seven Laudato Si’ Goals towards more sustainability. The Earthcare Parishes Program offers ideas and guidance. Find out more and register for an Earthcare Audit at

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

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

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

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 in early 2022. For further information or to register for any of the retreats, email or visit

Divine Retreat Centre One Day Pilgrimage Retreat: 26 December

The Divine Retreat Centre in Somersby, NSW is hosting a one-day pilgrimage from 9am to 1pm on Sunday 26 December and will feature praise and worship, Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Mass. 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.

Divine Retreat Centre New Year’s Eve Celebration: 31 December

The Divine Retreat Centre in Somersby, NSW is holding a New Year’s Eve celebration from 9pm to 12am on Friday 31 December. The event will include Confession, Thanksgiving Adoration and a New Year’s Mass. Bookings are required and limited numbers are available. Please call (02) 4372 1598 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.

Catholic Engaged Encounter Weekend: 19 – 20 February 2022

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 19 – 20 February. If COVID restrictions prevent a face-to-face weekend, it will be held via Zoom. For further information and to register, visit

Christian Meditation Introduction and Renewal Day: 20 February

You are invited to a Christian Meditation Introduction and Renewal Day at St Benedict’s Monastery, 121 Arcadia Rd, Arcadia, on Sunday 20 February from 10.30am to 3pm, with registration from 10am. BYO picnic lunch and other refreshments. No need to register ahead of time. Donations welcome. For enquiries, please contact either Ann Bergman on or Ann Lomas on or (02) 9653 2637.


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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