It is indeed an exciting time to be living in this beautiful part of South West Sydney, one of the fastest growing regions in Australia. Many families are blessed to have lived in this area for years, and now we welcome another pioneering generation as new suburbs are opening all around us.
Recognising the need in the area, Bishop Peter Ingham has established St Mary MacKillop Catholic Parish, Australia’s newest parish right here in Oran Park! It is also the first new parish in the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong since 1994.
No doubt you’ve heard the phrase, “it’s not a house, it’s a home,” and the same applies to a Catholic parish.
A parish is not just a church building; rather, it is the people who make up that community. In the words of Pope Francis, a parish is: “the Church living in the midst of the homes of her sons and daughters … in contact with the homes and the lives of its people … not a useless structure, but an environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration.” (Evangelli Gaudium, 28)
As we are building a brand new parish from scratch, our mandate is more challenging than that of an existing Catholic parish as it requires us to ‘launch into the deep’ and discover fresh ways of being the hands and feet of Jesus in our local area. St Mary MacKillop famously said: “Never see a need without doing something about it.” We are excited that we can now take up Mary MacKillop’s challenge together.
There's an old saying that we can see further if we stand on the shoulders of those that have gone before us. St Mary MacKillop Catholic Parish Oran Park is grateful to Fr Michael Williams and the local clergy, as well as the parishioners of St Paul’s Catholic Parish Camden for the pastoral care and support they have given to the people and school communities in the region.