Fr Mario Farewells St John’s, Heidelberg

This weekend, Fr Mario Zammit mssp, who has served at St John’s Parish, Hedelberg for seven years, farewells his community.

Fr Mario will join the St James Parish Community until later this year as he prepares for his next mission in the Philippines.

We welcome him and let us keep Fr Mario in our prayers during this time of transition.

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Work is underway in preparation to resume weekend Masses when the government moves to Step 3 of its Roadmap to Easing Restrictions (date still to be announced). Under its Covidsafe Plan we are required to:

  • Maintain 1.5M distancing and good hygiene
  • Stay home if unwell
  • Frequently clean and disinfect communal areas.

In order to resume weekend Masses we are appealing to our parishioners for assistance. Your help is needed either as a cleaner after Mass or as an usher during Mass. Volunteer cleaners are required to sanitise chairs, other furnishings and surfaces that are touched frequently. Ushers are needed to oversee people movements and ensure they move throughout the Paulist Centre in an orderly manner and maintain social distancing.

There will be a training session for all volunteer cleaners and ushers on Friday 26th June at 7:00pm in the Paulist Centre.

We are anticipating that we will have enough volunteers to resume all four weekend Masses and hoping to introduce a roster for volunteers. If you are able to volunteer to clean or usher at a weekend Mass please let the Parish Office know either by email ( or phone (9401 6367) and provide your name, whether you want to clean or be an usher and which Mass time you can help out at.

It is very important that we maintain a safe environment for everyone to celebrate the Eucharist together and we will not be able to proceed without your help.

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Preparing for Masses at St James Parish

Planning is underway in readiness for Saturday night/Sunday Masses to resume when the government relaxes COVID-19 restrictions and moves into Stage 3 of its Roadmap to Easing Restrictions where 100 people will be allowed to attend a religious service. A COVID Safe Plan for reopening the Paulist Centre for Sunday Mass is being developed by the COVID-19 Committee.

We are still required to abide by government regulations. Masses will only resume if we have the cooperation and support of our Ministry volunteers to ensure we comply with all requirements including maintaining a safe hygienic environment. Our Sunday Mass Ministry Volunteers will shortly be invited to attend a training and information session to explain their role.

It is important to realise that parishioners will not be compelled to attend Mass while there are restrictions in place and Online Mass will still be offered during this time. People not feeling well, have flu like symptoms or been in contact with people who are self-isolating must not attend. While people in the government’s high risk categories (aged 70 years or older or people with compromised immune systems) are still being encouraged to stay home.

Going to Mass will be different under Stage 3. The number of Masses made available is still being finalised and will depend on the number of people wishing to attend and the number of volunteers available and willing to participate. People wanting to go to Mass will have to pre-register or book beforehand so the number of people attending can be controlled. Further advice on how and when this will be done will be provided later. Parishioners will have to keep a safe social distance and chairs will be placed accordingly. And when leaving, people will be required to leave in an orderly way and not congregate or socialise in the foyer or outside the door; something strange for people at St James.

These are temporary measures and we are already looking forward to when restrictions are fully lifted and all the people of St James can freely come together to celebrate the Eucharist.

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In regards to the weekday Masses (Mon-Fri) at Thomas Carr College at 9:00am, these will begin on Mon 29 Jun. At this stage, due to the size of the space, there will be a maximum capacity of 20 people. People who wish to attend this morning Mass must pre-book to ensure that we abide by the government regulations and follow all instructions given.

Bookings for weekday Masses (please note a different procedure will be in place for the Saturday night/Sunday Masses once they start) will be taken via email ( or phone (9401 6367). Bookings will be open from 9:30am from the Friday before the upcoming week (eg bookings for the week of Mon 29 Jun-Fri 03 July will be open from 9:30am on Fri 26 Jun). Bookings can only be made during that time period. To start with, you can only book for 2 weekdays in any given week. Online Mass still be streamed via Facebook.

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Bishop Mark Edwards OMI

As a Parish we pay tribute to Bishop Mark and thank him for his missionary service to the people of the Western Region and to our Archdiocese.

We thank Bishop Mark for the warmth and love he has expressed to us as a Parish here at St James.

Let us keep him in our prayers as he prepares for his transition to serve the people of God in the Diocese of Wagga.

God bless you Bishop Mark.

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Update from Fr Jude

It is very positive to hear that as a country we seem to have made it through the COVID tunnel to the other end. We are finally trying to get used to what may be the new ‘normal.’ As we have been told repeatedly, we still have to be very careful with the way we behave and watch the progress of this pandemic. We sincerely hope we can soon be able to claim our life back!

There have been some relaxation with regards to the number of people that can be in the same place together. It is positive to see that we can celebrate weddings with ten guests, funerals with twenty mourners, and baptisms where ten people can come together. While positive, this still puts great restrictions to the way we can be together.

At this stage, although one is technically able to celebrate Mass with ten people present, yet, after carefully considering all the options available, our COVID-19 Committee has decided that at this stage we are not in a position to change any of our procedures. Mass is a banquet, a joyful celebration for the whole people of God. To limit this joyful feast to ten people, arbitrarily excluding any others, does not seem fair to us. We will continue to monitor the situation giving due regard to further relaxations as they arise.

While coming together as a People of God is a very important moment in the life of the Body of Christ, something we cannot do at present, we need to remind ourselves that this is not the only way we can live our faith. Faith starts in the home, which is the basic unit of the Church. We need to continue to practice coming together as a ‘family Church.’ Within this context it is important that we encounter and get to know the Word of God. The suggestion is that at least once a week, preferably on a Sunday, the whole family comes together to read the Word of God, especially the gospel reading chosen for that Sunday, and then pray using that text. We can stop and reflect on what the Word of God means to us in our life, even at this strange time. We are then invited to formulate our own private prayers. What is it I would like to talk to God about? How do I praise him for his many gifts? How do I express my concerns to God?

As a parish we will continue to live-stream and recorded Masses on the parish Facebook page ( and website ( We totally understand that this is not the same as being physically present in the Church, but at this stage, this is the best option we have available for us. Daily Masses are live-streamed at 9:00am, Monday-Saturday on Facebook. The weekend Mass is pre-recorded and is available on the Parish website at 10:00am on Sundays.

During this time we also continue to pray and to look out for people who are lonely in their homes and who might need neighbourly support. Some people may require assistance with shopping while others will greatly benefit from a friendly phone call. This is where the Eucharist we participate in really comes to life, when we look out and recognise Jesus in those who are in need around us. Let us pray that we will soon be able to come together physically to continue our journey of discipleship.

Fr Jude Pirotta mssp

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Dear Parishioners,

We hope that you enjoyed a blessed Easter, and in the difficult circumstances related to the coronavirus, you have had the opportunity to be with and enjoy time with your family and loved ones. We are aware that this is a difficult time for everyone, especially the most vulnerable.

Our plans to celebrate weekday liturgies at Thomas Carr College, and weekend masses, including Easter liturgies, at the Paulist Centre had to be abandoned because of restrictions related to COVID-19. You may of course follow the celebrations on our Parish website and/or Facebook page. We do miss physically seeing you.

As you know, work on the church extension started in mid-February 2020, and they have continued at a steady pace since then. The old presbytery was the first to go, and Fr Jude and Fr Silvio are settling in the new presbytery in Hilden Close.

We are now on Stage 2 of the Parish project, which is the restructuring and the renovation of our parish church. This is going to cost the Parish $ 2.3 million. That is a hefty sum to pay, but we are confident that with your help, we can do it. A loan contract was signed before the coronavirus made an appearance. Our contractual obligation is to pay it back in 20 years’ time.

We would like to thank you all for your moral and financial support as the parish does rely on your generosity. We remember the spirit of the parish pioneers whose vision provided us with the opportunity to worship, educate children, and getting together as a community.

We do appreciate the generous donations of parishioners who have asked how they may contribute. In response to the question that people are still asking, there are a few options available:

1/ You can drop off your Thanksgiving envelope at the Parish Office during business hours: Monday – Friday 9.30am to 2.30pm. Alternatively, you can drop it off at the After-Hours Drop Off Chute outside, next to the Parish Office Entrance under the window.

2/ Donations towards either Thanksgiving (1st collection to support operational running costs of the Parish) or towards the Church Extensions, can be made through an Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) directly to our Church bank account.

Account Name: St James the Apostle Parish
BSB: 083-347
Account Number: 646205822
For Thanksgiving please use your Thanksgiving Envelope number and your surname so we can attribute your donation correctly (Example: if your Thanksgiving Envelope number is 123 and surname is Smith, use the reference “123-Smith”).
For Church Extension, please use reference “[your surname]-ChExt” (Example: Smith-ChExt)

3/  For Presbytery donation (2nd Collection), you can transfer directly to our MSSP Hoppers Crossing North bank account.

Account Name: Missionary Society of St Paul
BSB: 083-153
Account Number.: 869470113
Please use the reference “Presby-[your surname]“ so we can attribute your donation correctly(Example: Presby-Smith)

We know these are challenging times. Please know that we are with you in spirit and will continue to pray for you, your families and intentions in all of our daily private Masses.

Let us continue to remain connected with each other in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Yours in Love Risen,

Fr Jude Pirotta, Parish Priest
Fr Silvio Bezzina, Assistant Priest
Angel Hartanto, Parish Bookkeeper


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Staying Connected

We encourage all of you, our Parishioners to remain united with us and join us in our Daily Live-Streamed Masses (Mon-Sat) which will continue from Mon 13 Apr on our Facebook Page ( and Weekend Online Masses from the Parish Website ( Keep referring to the resources and links you see available there. Keep in contact with the Parish Bulletin, and if you would like to receive it by email, please register from our website.

After receiving multiple inquiries, we also encourage you to inform other Parishioners that you would know to keep themselves connected. Direct them to our Parish Website for regular updates and to sign up to receive the Parish Bulletin, also from the website. If they inquire about how they can continue supporting the Parish through their contributions, direct them to the information located on page 3 of this Parish Bulletin.

If possible, be sure to spend some extra time in prayer during the Easter season, and please be patient with each other in this difficult situation, which none of us likes. We need to help and encourage each other, especially the elderly and our medical personnel. Try to lighten the load for one another through occasional humour, and socially distant activities. These all speak of what we truly believe. God is with us and we will continue to be His beloved people.


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