The Catholic Diocese of Parramatta
The Catholic Diocese of Parramatta was created by Pope John Paul II on 8 April 1986 but most parishes are much older – Parramatta parish was established in 1827, Windsor in 1832 and Penrith in 1839, while Rouse Hill was formed in 2007.
The first Bishop of Parramatta, Bishop Bede Heather, was installed on 19 May 1986. He was succeeded by Bishop Kevin Manning (1996-2010). Bishop Anthony Fisher OP is the third Bishop of Parramatta.
Today, the Diocese is home to around 330,000 Catholics in one of the fastest-growing areas of New South Wales, Australia.
A Suffragan Diocese of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, the Diocese of Parramatta is west of Sydney and covers 4,289 sq km, reaching from Dundas Valley, west to Megalong Valley, south to Luddenham, and north to Wiseman's Ferry.
The Diocese is made up of 47 parishes. More than 45,000 students attend one of the 83 Catholic schools in the Diocese.
Parramatta was chosen as the seat of the Diocese due to its role in the early European settlement of Australia, its size as a commercial and administrative centre, and its pivotal position in the communications that link the west with other parts of Sydney.
It is contemporary urban Australia in miniature. It has parishes as old as Parramatta and Windsor and burgeoning suburbs such as Stanhope Gardens and Rouse Hill.
The Diocese takes in seven local government divisions: The Hills, Blacktown City, City of the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury Shire, Municipality of Holroyd, Parramatta City and Penrith City, as well as parts of Wollondilly and Liverpool.As well as nurturing the spiritual lives of the hundreds of thousands of Catholics in its care, the Diocese supports thousands more in the local community. Its Catholic education system is committed to giving every student a quality education, while CatholicCare and its other agencies and ministries work alongside local people from all walks of life, as well as organisations committed to enhancing the way of life we enjoy in Western Sydney.