Westmead Catholic Community – the future reimagined

20 September 2019
Bishop of Parramatta, Bishop Vincent Long, (centre) and Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta Executive Director Greg Whitby (third right) with student representatives at the launch of the Westmead Catholic Community. Image: Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.

 

Sacred Heart Parish, Westmead, and local Catholic schools are thriving and now seek the support of the community to meet local needs through the creation of the Westmead Catholic Community.

Subject to planning approval, a new Parish church and contemporary school facilities for Sacred Heart Primary, Mother Teresa Primary, Catherine McAuley Westmead and Parramatta Marist High School at a central location in Darcy Road will better support the local community through faith, learning and outreach.

A response to unprecedented population growth and growing demand for parish infrastructure, education and learning services in Westmead and the local region, the project was launched today by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, Brother Peter Carroll FMS, Provincial, Marist Brothers Australia and Sister Mary-Louise Petro RSM, Congregation Leader, Sisters of Mercy Parramatta.

“Westmead Catholic Community is a collaboration between the Diocese of Parramatta including its agencies and Sacred Heart Parish, and those who laid the foundations of this vibrant community: the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta and the Marist Brothers. I also acknowledge all who have contributed to the history of the Parish, both Religious and laypeople. This will be a wonderful expression of Church and Mission and an opportunity to do more for the local community,” Bishop Vincent said.

Sacred Heart Parish parish priest Fr Walter Fogarty (left), Bishop of Parramatta, Bishop Vincent Long, (centre) and Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta Executive Director Greg Whitby (third right) with student representatives at the launch of the Westmead Catholic Community. Image: Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.

The first phase of the Westmead Catholic Community project is the building of new facilities for the Sacred Heart Church and primary school on the Darcy Road site. It will also involve the creation of a Catholic Early Learning Centre on the Darcy Road site. These facilities are set to open in 2023.

The second phase of the Westmead Catholic Community project – new facilities at Catherine McAuley and Parramatta Marist and other complementary and community facilities – is a longer term program, set to occur from 2025-2028. Over time, students will be provided with contemporary learning opportunities from the adjacent health and education precincts. The new facilities are also expected to benefit the broader local community.

Sacred Heart Parish Westmead was founded in 1951, and its community has outgrown the modest Parish Church and facilities in Ralph Street, Westmead. Sacred Heart Primary was established by the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta in 1956 and has also outgrown its small premises in Ralph Street.

The identities and traditions of all four Westmead Catholic schools will remain strong and vibrant within the Westmead Catholic Community: Sacred Heart Primary Westmead will cater for students from Early Learning to Year 2 and Mother Teresa Primary Westmead will serve students from Year 3 to Year 6.

The planning application for new Sacred Heart Parish and primary school facilities is expected to be lodged with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) in late 2019. The plans will be on public exhibition in early 2020.

Community engagement will commence in September 2019 and will include information sessions and workshops. Parents and community members are encouraged to attend and learn more about the proposal.

Please visit www.westmeadcatholiccommunity.org for more information.

With thanks to Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.

 

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