Diocese of Parramatta Silver Jubilee

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Jubilee Mass celebrates Diocese's 25 years

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Second Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Kevin Manning DD, third Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, and first Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Bede Heather DD at the Silver Jubilee Mass celebrations.
Photo: Alphonsus Fok & Grace Lu

The faithful gathered in their hundreds in St Patrick's Cathedral on Thursday 19 May, as the Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, where Mary MacKillop was proclaimed the patron of the Diocese.

The proclamation of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop's patronage was read by His Excellency Giuseppe Lazzarotto, Apostolic Nuncio to Australia.

Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, presided at the Thanksgiving Mass, which was concelebrated by His Eminence Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy, His Excellency Giuseppe Lazzarotto, Bishops of the Greater Sydney Region, the Presbyterate of the Diocese of Parramatta, visiting Presbyters from Religious Institutes and Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Rev Wim Hoekstra.

The General Intercessions for the Mass were read in a variety of languages, including Vietnamese, Chinese, Arabic and Samoan, celebrating the diversity of the Diocese.

Prior to the Mass, the congregation reflected on some aspects of the past 25 years, as told by Parishioners representing Parishes established since the Diocese came into being.

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Read Proclamation of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop as Patron of the Diocese

Read Bishop Anthony's Silver Jubilee Mass of Thanksgiving Homily

8 April 1986: Parramatta becomes a Diocese

Go to History of the Diocese of Parramatta News Story
An artist’s sketch of St Patrick’s Church, which was on the cover of the Mass booklet in 1986.
By Vivienne Keely CHF

“The bishop will locate his See in Parramatta, the principal city of the region, and there he will place his Chair, in the Church of St Patrick, to which we grant the honours of a Cathedral”, so reads the Decree of Pope John Paul II by which the Diocese of Parramatta was established on 8 April 1986.

It’s a fair bet that the Irish convict and government surveyor, James Meehan, had no idea that he was marking out a future cathedral when he marked out the site of St Patrick’s in the 1820s.

Provisions of the Decree

It’s interesting to see what topics are covered in the Decree. It gives the reasons for which the new Diocese was established, the geographic extent of the Diocese, where the centre of the Diocese will be, the sources of revenue.

It stipulates that a College of Consultors be formed, that the provisions of the Second Vatican Council be followed in the formation of seminarians, and gives the criteria for deciding which priests belong to which Diocese, Sydney or Parramatta.

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Growing up in the Diocese: a parish priest's tale

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The Dellow family property: the diocesan offices in Victoria Road now occupy part of the land.
An account from St Bernadette’s Castle Hill Parish Priest Very Rev John Boyle EV, on growing up in the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta.

Mum and Dad, Mollie and Jack, had been married in St Patrick’s Church on 26 February 1944. They moved into their new fibro Housing Commission house in Prince Street on my third birthday.

Carmel, my sister, and I were both baptised in St Patrick’s Church and we both followed our mother to St Patrick’s convent and made our Holy Communion there.

I became an altar boy and Carmel, like her mother before her, a child of Mary. We both made the nine first Fridays – a number of times.

After the 6.45am first Friday Mass, most of us would go to the fish and chip shop in Church Street up the road from Aylwood and Kennedy’s and Munro’s the butchers, opposite Granger’s bakery. We’d buy breakfast there.

We would come back to school on the north side of Victoria Road, past the two-storey house occupied by Amy Dellow. Now the diocesan offices occupy part of her property.

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