People’s Councils offer Fresh Voices and Fresh Hearts

By Richard McMahon, 9 January 2018
The newly-elected Deanery Pastoral Councils and the Diocesan Pastoral Council. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

In late September 2017, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv invited nominations for both Deanery Pastoral Councils and the Diocesan Pastoral Council.

Throughout October, people from across our diocese nominated themselves or others to these councils, local priests endorsed their nominations, and in late November, appointments were announced. The new members gathered with Bishop Vincent for a formation day on Saturday 2 December and the councils commence their work in early 2018.

Why do we need advisory councils?

Ever since the early church, councils have been part of its identity. Our church recognises the need to listen carefully to its members before racing into decisions. Things are no different today. Our diocese already includes a Council of Priests, offering Bishop Vincent advice from members of the clergy. These new councils will complement this existing council with the voice of lay people.

These new bodies, aligning with our Pastoral Plan, Faith in our Future, will seek to strengthen the growing and sharing of faith in Christ within our diocese. Their membership includes a broad cross-section of people drawn from different places in the diocese and from different backgrounds and experiences.

RELATED: Diocesan and Deanery Pastoral Councils – Why they Matter

VIEW: Images of the new Deanery & Diocesan Pastoral Councils


What is the role of our Diocesan and Deanery Pastoral Councils?

Diocesan Pastoral Councils are described as being; “under the authority of the Bishop… to study and weigh those matters which concern the pastoral works in the diocese, and to propose practical conclusions concerning them.” (Code of Canon Law, article 511). Bishop Vincent will consult with the Diocesan Pastoral Council concerning pastoral realities, directions and possible strategies as well as priorities to support the ongoing formation of the diocese’s people and the diocese’s character. The council will actively maintain communication with the five Deanery Pastoral Councils. Importantly, its members do not represent particular parishes, but rather the broad sweep of the diocese.

Our Deanery Pastoral Councils will focus on common efforts across deanery regions for the mission of evangelisation, such common efforts also being envisaged in the Diocesan Pastoral Plan, Faith in Our Future. The Deanery Pastoral Council process includes a wider forum component to welcome the participation of others from the deanery. The forum opportunity will occur at least twice per year. Each Deanery Pastoral Council consists of up to two lay representatives from each parish in the deanery.

Further information is available from our diocesan website

Membership of Councils

Diocesan Pastoral Council


Members listed below have their parish included, but importantly, they are appointed to represent whole of diocese, rather than their local community:

Seethal Bency; Westmead
Leonard Blahut; Lawson
David Buckley; Blackheath
Sally-Anne Coppini; Kenthurst
Margaret Currie; St Clair
Ryan Hutton; Quakers Hill
Padmi Pathinather; Greystanes
Colleen-Ann Pillay; Winston Hills
John Portelli; Granville
Sr Grace Roclawska; CSFN Plumpton
Sr Catherine Slattery SGS; Blacktown
Michael Tan; Kellyville
Leo Tucker; Penrith
Mei Velasco; Marayong
Kiera Warda; Glenmore Park
Kevin Wilson; Toongabbie
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv;
Richard McMahon, Ex-officio

Central Deanery Pastoral Council


Antoinette Mangion; Blacktown
Phillipe Dulawan; Blacktown
Michael Adolphe; Doonside
Laurie Butiegieg; Doonside
Gary Cluff; Greystanes
Henanita Fatu; Greystanes
Gerry Adolphe; Lalor Park
Maria Power; Lalor Park
Anthony Culbert; Marayong
Fred Inglis; Marayong
Davis D’Souza; Plumpton
Socorro Morgan; Plumpton
Gerald Oblea; Quakers Hill
Carmelle Cuanan; Rooty Hill
John Jordan; Seven Hills
Judy Barden; Seven Hills
Vicki Baiada; Toongabbie
Bill Ryan; Toongabbie
Fr Paul Marshall; Greystanes – Dean
Wentworthville yet to confirm members

Eastern Deanery Pastoral Council


Michael Guillema; Cathedral
Priya Remigius; Cathedral
Lauren Chehade; Dundas Valley
Margaret Flitcroft; Dundas Valley
Richard Zaiter; Granville
Rosette Chidiac; Granville
Claudette Takchi; Granville East
Harry Stephens; Granville East
Kathryn Newman; Guildford
Sharmila Falzon; Guildford
Larry Mockler; Merrylands
Grey Fingleton; Westmead
Fr Bob Bossini; Cathedral – Dean
Harris Park, Parramatta North, Rydalmere yet to confirm members

Mountains Deanery Pastoral Council


Brian Bright; Blackheath
Michelle Davis; Blackheath
Kay Walker; Emu Plains
Lewis Zammit; Emu Plains
Mark Walker; Glenbrook
Matthew Twyford; Glenbrook
Jennifer McPhee; Katoomba
Zelko Livaic; Katoomba
Carol Teodori; Lawson
Maureen Ryan; Lawson
Kim Crawford; Springwood
Vic O’Callaghan; Springwood
Fr Mick O’Callaghan; Emu Plains – Dean

Northern Deanery Pastoral Council


Anne Lockwood; Baulkham Hills
Wendy Goonan; Baulkham Hills
Ann O’Brien; Castle Hill
John Abernethy; Castle Hill
Leonard Pinto; Kellyville
Paul Fameron; Kellyville
Sue Martin; Kenthurst
Mark Bonney; North Rocks
Peter Elchaar; North Rocks
Rowena Osmero; Glenwood-Stanhope Gardens
Gary Lee; Glenwood-Stanhope Gardens
Fr Ian McGinnity; North Rocks – Dean

Rouse Hill and Winston Hills yet to confirm members

Western Deanery Pastoral Council


Mary Dalli; Cranebrook
Michael Blair; Cranebrook
John Svoboda; Emerton
Gilbert Grech; Glenmore Park
Mary Prazak; Kingswood
Sunny Kiliroorparampil; Kingswood
Carmel Fenton; Luddenham-Warragamba
Jeanette Borg; Luddenham-Warragamba
Joaquim Mendes; Mt Druitt South
Vincent Sammut; Mt Druitt South
Anne Maree Pletkan; Penrith
Reena Mukherjee; Penrith
Pauleen West; Richmond
Cathy Richmond; Richmond
Geoffrey Pirotta; St Clair
Marlowe James Perfecto; St Clair
Moussa Seecy; St Marys
Stella Buhagiar; St Marys
Cita Adams; Windsor
Fr Andrew Fornal OP; Kingswood – Dean

Riverstone yet to confirm members.

By Richard McMahon, 
Director of Pastoral Planning & Implementation.

Read Daily
* indicates required