News & Events Weekly Update

7 February 2024


News and Events across the Diocese of Parramatta and beyond


Diocese of Parramatta Notices


NEW Diocesan website launched  

The new website is now here with exciting new features and functionality including a comprehensive ‘Find a Mass’ function which includes Daily and Weekend Masses, Reconciliation and Adoration times; a centralised event calendar; Daily Mass readings and different ways you can contribute to the Church in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains. Check it out today! 

Safeguarding Face-to-face Training Opportunities  

Opportunities for face-to-face Mandatory Safeguarding Training will be held this February at the following locations. 

  • Monday 12 February (10am – 1.30pm) – Modules 4-5: Renewal Safeguarding Training is for those in Parish Ministry who commenced Cycle 1 Training two years ago at Bishop Bede Heather Centre, Blacktown
  • Saturday 17 February (10am – 3pm) – Modules 1-3: For those new to Parish Ministry or for those who have not yet completed the initial Cycle 1 training at Sacred Heart Parish, Mt Druitt South
  • Thursday 22 February (7pm – 8.30pm) – Module 4 at St Nicholas of Myra Parish, Penrith
  • Thursday 29 February (7pm – 8.30pm) – Module 5 at St Nicholas of Myra Parish, Penrith

Please register directly for this training or for other convenient dates and locations by clicking on the training event at: 

For more information, please email: 

ACU Memorial Mass and Public Lecture of St Josephine Bakhita: 8 February 

Australian Catholic University and the Diocese of Parramatta are hosting a Memorial Mass on the feast day of St Josephine Bakhita, patron saint of South Sudan and victims of modern slavery and human trafficking, on Thursday 8 February at 12.30pm at ACU’s St Josephine Bakhita Campus, Blacktown. Following Mass, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv will deliver the first St Josephine Bakhita Public Lecture on-campus. Both events are open to members of the public. 

**NEW DATE** Music for Lent Workshop: 8 February  

Musicians and Liturgy Planners are invited to attend an evening exploring Music for Lent on Thursday 8 February 2024 from 7pm to 8.30pm at the Bishop Bede Heather Centre, Blacktown. The session will be presented by Eric Grella, Music Formation Facilitator, Mission Enhancement Team. To RSVP, please contact or call 0460 037 795 by 6 February 2024. 

Diocesan World Day of the Sick Mass: 10 February 

A Mass for the World Day of the Sick, including the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, will be held at 11am on Saturday 10 February 2024 at St Patrick’s Church, Mary, Queen of the Family Parish, Blacktown. All are welcome, including those who may be sick, and those who care for the sick and dying and health care professionals. RSVPs are required by 6 February 2024 to 

Formation for those in Catholic healthcare: 10 February 

Those interested in the healthcare ministry of the Church or are currently in healthcare are invited to a formation session exploring the importance of healing relationships in healthcare on Saturday 10 February at St Patrick’s Church, Mary, Queen of the Family Parish, Blacktown. High school students and young adults considering professional careers in healthcare are especially welcome to attend this session. Please register your attendance by emailing or for further information, please contact 

Diocesan Memorial Mass of St Josephine Bakhita: 11 February 

Join Bishop Vincent for the annual Diocesan Memorial Mass of St Josephine Bakhita, Patron Saint of South Sudan and Sudan, and Victims of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking. It will be held at St Patrick’s Church, Mary, Queen of the Family Parish, Sunday 11 February at 12.30pm, followed by fellowship, food, and community entertainment. All are welcome to attend. 

Bishop Vincent presents a conversation with Monsignor Tomas Halik: 12 February 

The Diocese of Parramatta invites you to a conversation with Czech priest and theologian Monsignor Tomas Halik on Monday 12 February at 6pm at St Patrick’s Cathedral Hall, Parramatta. Join the waitlist or register for the livestream by visiting 

MET Natural Fertility Sympto-Thermal Method Introductory Session: 13 February  

This year, MET Natural Fertility will be holding Initial Instructions and Introductory Sessions for our three methods of Natural Family Planning (NFP) available in the Diocese of Parramatta. These sessions will set you up to chart your cycle immediately to help achieve your family planning goals. The first session on the Sympto-Thermal Method (STM) will be held via Zoom on Tuesday 13 February from 7pm to 8pm. To book your place or for further information, contact or on 0400 427 605. Save the date Creighton: 20 March and Billings: 23 April 

MET FaithLIFE Scripture Short Course: Tuesday Evenings 13, 20, 27 February 

Looking to learn more about the Bible? Wanting expert guidance on interpreting Scripture for life & faith? Interested in the theme of women in the Bible through the Gospel of Matthew? Sign up now for the 3-session FaithLIFE Scripture short course with Dr Debra Snoddy on Tuesday evenings 13, 20 and 27 February! Registration and more dates and details via OR get in touch with the team via 

Youth Mass ‘Round the Diocese: 25 February  

Looking for some young adults to worship with? Hunting for an excuse to catch up with Jesus and friends? Wondering what goes on around our Diocese? Mass ‘Round the Diocese is just that! Our young people are visiting different churches around the Diocese for Mass and fellowship afterwards with new and known friends. The next Mass will be at Our Lady, Queen of Peace Parish, Greystanes, on Sunday 25 February for 6pm Mass. For more information, please contact Laura on  

Lent & the Scrutinies Evening for RCIA Teams: 28 February 

RCIA Coordinators and team members are invited to attend an RCIA Lenten workshop on Wednesday 28 February from 7pm – 8:30pm at the Bishop Bede Heather Centre, Blacktown. Deacon Rod Pirotta will present the workshop and discuss Lent and the Scrutiny Readings. To register or for more information, please contact or call (02) 8838 3456 by 27 February 2024. 

Celebrating Holy Week: Formation for Ministers of the Altar: 9 March 

The Office for Worship presents ‘Celebrating Holy Week’ – a workshop for current Acolytes and Ministers at the Altar presented by Chris Ohlsen. It will be held on Saturday 9 March from 9:30am to 3pm at the Bishop Bede Heather Centre, Blacktown. To register or for more information, please contact or call (02) 8838 3456 by 5 March 2024. 

MET The FaithFeed: 15 March 

Interested in live music + curious conversations + life & faith stories from those in their 20s, 30s 40s? Sign up for The FaithFeed, Friday 15 March 2024 – Doors open 7PM w/ live music for 7:30PM. Downstairs @ Bishop Bede Heather Centre: 1-5 Marion Street, Blacktown NSW 2148. RSVP by visiting, via QR code or get in touch with the team via  

Diocesan Lent & Holy Week Scripture Reflection Evening: 20 March 

Looking for a way to reflect on your experience of Lent as we enter Holy Week? Interested in praying with the Scripture readings for Holy Week? Register for the Diocesan Lent & Holy Week Scripture Reflection Evening Wednesday 20 March 2024 – 6:30PM to 8:30pm. RSVP by visiting, scanning the QR or get in touch with the team via 

Diocesan Food Drives  

Many vulnerable people in our community rely on the ‘food banks’ run by Jesuit Refugee Services and the House of Welcome, which operate thanks to donations from community food drives. All parishes and schools are encouraged to run a food drive for those seeking safety in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains. Find out more information about how you can help at or emailing    

Marriage Preparation Courses in 2024   

Getting married in 2024? Let the Diocese of Parramatta help you prepare. Visit to view weekend course dates in the New Year, to book and pay. An online preparation called SmartLoving can also be booked via the website. For more information, email or Marisa on 0412 280 017.   

Get your feed on the Soul Food Podcast

Do you find life & faith inspiration by listening to the experiences of others? 
The Mission Enhancement Team’s Soul Food Podcast features life & faith stories of people from our diocesan family. Listen now for FREE via our website or on  

Diocese of Parramatta Tribunal available for in-person, telephone and Zoom appointments   

The Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Parramatta is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm for enquiries regarding marriage annulments. Interviews are being conducted in person with Zoom and telephone appointments available in certain circumstances. Please contact the Tribunal office on (02) 8838 3480 or email   

Adult Faith Formation opportunities in 2024  

  • Preparing for marriage or know couples who are?
  • Looking to learn more about the Bible, spirituality, theology or practical skills for ministry?  
  • Searching for encouragement and growth by listening to life & faith stories from adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s?  

View and share a copy of the 2024 adult faith formation calendar (link: OR get in touch with the team to learn about more formation opportunities via 

Catholic Care Mamre Supported Playgroup 

Catholic Care Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains are offering a free supported playgroup which operates on Thursdays from 10am to 12pm during school terms at Mamre House, 181 Mamre Rd, Orchard Hills. If you are interested in enrolling, please contact Mamre Supported Playgroup on (02) 8843 2506. 

Free English and Citizenship Classes  

Catholic Care Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains are offering English and Citizenship classes at Mamre House, 181 Mamre Rd, Orchard Hills, on a Tuesday and Wednesday from 10am to 2pm during school terms. Free childcare is available. If you are interested in enrolling, please contact Mamre Crèche on (02) 8843 2506 or Nepean Community College (02) 4724 9000.  

Glenbrook Parish Aspects of the Eucharist Talks: 21 and 28 February 

St Finbar’s Parish, Glenbrook, is hosting a series of talks exploring the fundamental aspects of the Eucharist with Chris Ohlsen on Wednesday 21 and 28 February at 7.30pm at the parish. Entry is via gold coin donation. To RSVP, please email  

Mount Schoenstatt Young Women’s Lenten Reflection Day: 25 February 

The Mount Schoenstatt Girls and Young Women ministry invite young women to a Lenten Reflection Day on Sunday 25 February from 10.30am to 8.30pm at the Mt Schoenstatt Retreat Centre, 230 Fairlight Road, Mulgoa. Cost is $25 including afternoon tea and dinner. BYO lunch. Register before Thursday 15 February to Sr M Rita on 0493 026 628 or 

Mount Schoenstatt Shrine Time Holy Hour for Youth and Young Adults 

The Mount Schoenstatt community invite young and young adults for Holy Hour every fourth Sunday of the month from 7pm to 8pm at the Mt Schoenstatt Shrine, 230 Fairlight Road, Mulgoa, followed by a social gathering afterwards. There will be opportunities for praise and worship, prayer, reflection, confession and benediction. For more information, please contact Sr M Rita on 0493 026 628 or 

Grace & Silence Retreat for Young Women: 3 March 

The Mount Schoenstatt Girls and Young Women ministry invite single women aged 20 to 40 discerning a vocation to marriage and family, single life or consecrated life to a series of silent retreat days beginning Sunday 3 March from 9.30am to 4.30pm at Bethany, 301 Fairlight Road, Mulgoa. Remaining sessions are 7 April, 5 May and 2 June. Cost is $25 per day or $90 for the full series. For catering purposes, registrations close a week prior to each event. For details, contact Hannah on 0433 443 384. 


Other Notices


Jamberoo Abbey Borrowing Tomorrow Online Retreat: Beginning 18 February  

Beginning 18 February, Jamberoo Abbey are hosting a series of online retreats themed around caring for our own heart which is reflected in how we care for our earth with a focus on Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’. Sessions will be held each Sunday until Palm Sunday 24 March with short readings or stories weekly. The cost of the retreat is $200, but do not hesitate to email if you are unable to manage the full cost. Register online today at For enquiries and registration, contact 

Christian Meditation Introduction and Renewal Day: 18 February  

You are invited to a Christian Meditation Introduction and Renewal Day on Sunday 18 February from 10am to around 3pm at St Benedict’s Monastery, 121 Arcadia Rd, Arcadia. There will be an introduction to Christian Meditation for newcomers with periods of meditation for ongoing meditators, presentations and prayer with the monks. Mass will be celebrated in the afternoon. Morning tea will be provided, but please bring your own picnic lunch. Donations are welcome. For enquiries, please contact Ann Lomas on or call 0437 340 250. Accommodation enquries can be addressed to Fr Michael Kelly on 0455 329 607. 

Catholic Engaged Encounter Weekend: 24 – 25 February 

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 24 and 25 February, with future dates in May, August and November 2024. For further information and to register, visit 

St Mary’s Towers Retreat Centre Easter Guided Silent Retreat: 26 – 31 March 

St Mary’s Towers Retreat Centre in Douglas Park, is offering a 2024 Easter Guided Silent Retreat from 6pm Tuesday 26 to 2pm Easter Sunday 31 March. Each day will have a presentation in the morning at 9am on the theme for that day. Registration is $850 which includes meals, accommodation, presentations and accompaniment for those who request it. For further information please contact Fr Stephen Dives msc on (02) 4630 0237 or 0405 695 535 or 

Jesus Light of the World Communities reCHARGE Gatherings 

The Jesus Light of the World Communities are hosting a Recharge Gathering on Saturdays throughout February from 2.30pm at St Joseph’s Parish Hall, Rockdale. Each gathering includes rosary, praise and worship, a talk and prayer ministry. For more information, please contact Helen on 0433 455 114, Ida on 0426 953 697 or email 

Divine Retreat Centre offerings in 2024 

The Divine Retreat Centre in Somersby, NSW is hosting a variety of single-day and weekend residential retreats throughout 2024. The next residential retreat is their Inner Healing Growth Retreat from 16-18 February. For more information and bookings, please contact (02) 4372 1598 or email to confirm attendance. Visit for more information. 


lease 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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