St James Parish – Catholic Primary Schools Enrolment Update

St James Parish is fortunate to have a thriving community and is serviced by multiple Catholic Primary Schools that are part of the Parish. Last year we announced the exciting news of our 4th Catholic Primary School is opening in our Parish in 2024. Meetings for Enrolment information for our 4 Primary Schools is fast approaching. Enrolments are based on zoning, please contact one of the Primary Schools to find out which school you are zoned for, to make sure you do not miss out on your school’s Enrolment Information Night.


St James the Apostle Primary School
Address: 330 Derrimut Road, Hoppers Crossing
Phone: 9749 1000
Prep 2024 Info Night: Wed 08 Apr at 7pm, call to confirm zoning before attending.

St Francis of Assisi Primary School
Address: 45 Fairview Parade, Tarneit
Phone: 9749 9900
Prep 2024 Info Night: Wed 08 Apr at 7pm, call to confirm zoning before attending.

St Clare of Assisi Primary School
Address: 130 Marquands Road, Truganina
Phone: 9371 8400
Prep 2024 Info Night: Wed 08 Apr at 7pm, register via website before attending.

St Teresa of Kolkata Primary School
Address: 2 Caddy St, Tarneit North
Enrolment inquiries for all year levels (Prep-Yr 6) at our newest Parish Catholic Primary School via the website, with Information Meetings with families to take place in Term 2.


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Students from St James the Apostle, St Francis of Assisi, St Clare’s and Thomas Carr College attended 10:30am Mass on Sunday 23 May to mark 200 years of Catholic Education in Australia.

The Religious Education Leaders from the four schools organised the Mass and each REL spoke about aspects of Catholic Education today and in the future.

It was wonderful to see so many families participating. The Church was at its COVID capacity and the overflow filled the Paulist Centre where the Mass was live streamed.


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Almighty and all-loving God, with gratitude for the endeavours of Catholic education in the past, with confidence in our Catholic pre-schools, schools and universities today, and with faith in their continuing contribution in the future, we celebrate 200 years of Catholic education in this Great South Land.

As our Heavenly Father, we thank you for your providential care for your children in this land in inspiring priests, religious and lay people to found and staff our schools in ages past. Through them the Good News of your Son was brought to the young even in colonial times – and ever since.

As Christ the Teacher, you grace the staff and leaders of Catholic education today. As they build on the achievements of their predecessors direct them in their present efforts to ensure that every young Australian has the opportunity for an excellent education and formation in faith.

As our Inspiring Spirit, you lead us into the future. In the century ahead grant those teaching and learning in our schools, those planning and leading, and the families and community that entrust their young people to us, a love of learning and a willingness to be the face of Christ in the world of tomorrow.

Pour out your abundant blessings upon all involved in the ministry of Catholic education. Amen.

Our Lady of the Southern Cross – pray for us. St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Patron of Catholic Education in Australia – pray for us.


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Dear Parish Family,

I trust, through the grace of God that this letter finds you well. Given the enormous changes that we are living through, I must acknowledge that as a priest, I have never experienced a more difficult time, especially the suspension of public Masses and parish gatherings.

The current situation presents all of us with many challenges that through our daily prayers and our trust in God, we will see come to an end very soon. May we use this time after Easter as an opportunity to ask God’s guidance, protection, and blessings to end the spread of this deadly virus. Several weeks ago, our schools resumed with our teachers doing an amazing job preparing for online learning and preparing for the small group that need to come to school. Red, Tita, Angel and Maria, are working from home and alternating their days at the parish office. I certainly miss the daily encounter with all of you, but this current arrangement of distancing and restrictions will come to an end and when that does happen, I plan for us to gather both for the celebration of Mass and for catching up with friends once again. I take this opportunity to thank our school principals and all our school staff for their commitment towards our children.

Parents, may I acknowledge the challenges confronting you with at home and back to school learning and with everything else that goes with it. True we cannot get to our church worshipping centre at this time, in the physical parish sense, but the life of the Church is present in your families, in your household and in your circumstances, no matter what that might be, being part of the Body of Christ and part of your life at the moment. Please note that we do miss you and long to be reunited with you when all this passes. Here at St James the church building extensions continue, as we look forward to its completion later in the year.

The Corona Virus, dear friends, has helped us, families, school teachers and students, realise that churches are not being closed; buildings are being closed, we are the Body of Christ! The gospel is not constrained by quarantine, because Jesus is bigger than Corona Virus! God can, and is, moving powerfully during this time; our challenge is to prayerfully discern where the Holy Spirit is moving and then go there and join in the work.

Some ways in which we, as a parish, have been serving the community have been:
• delivering groceries and medicines;
• dropping off parish bulletins for people unable to manage the internet;
• advertising support to parishioners struggling with anxiety and loneliness or young children and those in self-isolation;
• making care calls;
• ministering to families and our youth, as they experience long days at home;
• remaining connected by using the Zoom platform for many meetings;
• setting up online faith sharing;
• communicating to the youth and young adult groups, and
• offering online Masses.

We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of so many parishioners ministering to us at this time with food drop offs

I think that when the dust settles, we will all realise how very little we need, how very much we actually have, and the true value of human connections. I thank Fr Silvio and Dcn Royden for their invaluable support and outreach to the community at this time, and all the facilitators of our ministries.

God bless you all.

Go gently, stay safe and keep smiling!

Fr Jude Pirotta mssp
Parish Priest

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Registrations for 1st Reconciliation (Confession) for Children attending non-Catholic schools are now open. Please note that this Sacrament is required before children are eligible for First Eucharist (Holy Communion). Visit and select the “Sacramental Registration—Reconciliation” page under the Ministries tab. Enquiries can be directed to the Coordinator Rachelle at Registrations close Friday 26th January 2018.


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Maria Scala has been part of our School and Parish Community for the past 16 years. During this time, Maria ministered as Deputy and Religious Education Leader and has contributed to the learning of many students over these years. I thank her for the support she offered me personally and to Principals and Staff over the years at St James. Maria has been instrumental in the development of our Sacramental Program and given herself tirelessly.

As a Parish we thank Maria and wish her happiness and success in her new role as Principal of St Francis Xavier Primary School, Corio.


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Thomas Carr Mass-250 Thomas Carr Mass-400


Taken from the Catholic Archdiocise of Melbourne Website, Media and Communications Office.

Click here to link to original Catholic Archdiocese News Item
ON WEDNESDAY 27 January the staff of Thomas Carr College, Tarneit, along with feeder primary schools St James the Apostle, Hoppers Crossing North, St Francis of Assisi, Tarneit and St Clare’s, Truganina came together to mark the beginning of the new school year.

Mass was celebrated with our Canonical Administrator Fr Jude Pirotta at St James the Apostle Church, along with local parishioners.

This being a liturgical year of mercy and reconciliation, the Church invites us to encounter God’s grace during this extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. This was the theme for our Mass which was complemented with relevant prayers and insightful reflections from Fr Jude’s homily. We were also blessed with the musical talents of the St James the Apostle music ministry ‘Celebrating with Harmony’, who sang the official Year of Mercy hymn, leaving all moved and

This Holy Year of Mercy provides an opportunity to become ‘stronger and more effective’ witnesses to our faith for a future that embodies a genuine culture of mercy.

In 2016 Thomas Carr College also celebrates its 20th anniversary and this Eucharistic celebration was a wonderful way to commence a year of commemorations and celebrations for the Thomas Carr community

It was very evident during our Mass that the St James the Apostle Parish is a highly united community, with all schools demonstrating an authentic Catholic Identity. As school communities we have promising weeks and transformative months full of possibilities ahead of us.

Therefore may God bless us and may we grow with Him this year.



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This is a significant milestone in the life of the Parish community of St James the Apostle Parish, Hoppers Crossing North, as we give birth to our third school St Clare’s Catholic Primary, Truganina South.

Since 2010 we saw a massive increase in Melbourne Catholic schools. A practical example of this growth and the faith parents have in Catholic education is this new school which opened its doors to about 170 students this year. Next year we have an enrolment sitting at 220 students. Quite a significant number for a new school.

Procedures for the establishment and the strategic planning took place in 2013. Stephen Elder, well aware of the growth corridor here in the Outer Western region, gave us the approval to go ahead and follow the necessary process.

A site had to be purchased, along with the professional support of the Property office of the Archdiocese. We settled on this site on Marquands Road.

After receiving the Archbishop’s approval, a steering committee was established to oversee the school opening. The committee’s role was to initially formulate an educational vision for the school and to drive its design.

We met regularly with Centrum architects and in partnership with the Project Control Group which involved staff from the Catholic Educational Office. The robust conversations we had and the learning we did together enabled us to successfully steer the project of building a contemporary school. May I take this opportunity to thank all involved for the direction, guidance and support that you gave us during this time.

An Australian government grant was approved and additional support was provided by the CEO in the form of a Supplementary Capital Grant.
This financial support assisted greatly in the direction, quality and timely completion of the project. It also affirmed greatly the government’s understanding of the contribution Catholic education makes to communities and the importance of parental choice in education.

The steering committee, which consisted of Jan Keogh, Jean Corr, Stephen Murphy, Alicia Borg along with Deb Egan/Jeff Burn/Rob Aron/ Steven Ferraro and Andrew Leighton who joined us later, formulated an educational vision for the school, with the architects driving its design and including flexible learning spaces that are welcoming and motivating for students in line with 21st century educational goals. Centrum architects were keen to work with us to reflect on the design of the school. The design was based on the Golden Sun Moth, an endangered and protected species, whose habitat is adjacent to the school’s property – a protected nature reserve on the Eastern side of our land.

Discussion then continued in assisting to establish a name for the school. After a discernment process and several suggestions, it was decided a female patron was appropriate and who other than Francis’ close friend and advocate for the poor, St Clare of Assisi.

At this point I would like to acknowledge and thank the principal of our Sister school St Francis of Assisi in Tarneit, Jan Keogh. With the enormous pressure of settling into your new school and accompanying your staff you willingly contributed in developing the vision and the strategic plan of the school. Your passion, time, commitment and energy can only be applauded. I thank you for the ongoing support you have provided to Andrew Leighton and the staff of St Clare. As a host school, St Francis continued to offer great support during the planning and building stages of 2013.

Centrum architects have always been sensitive in working with us and along with our builders, Melbcon have built this magnificent structure reflecting our approach to personalised learning within a contemporary setting that is encouraging and engaging and fits beautifully with our parish vision of striving to be a caring, loving and welcoming community.

Our builders worked hard and under great pressure to effectively complete our building in time for us to open our doors and welcome 170 students for the beginning of the school year. We sincerely thank Greg Coutts and his team for working so cooperatively and skilfully with us throughout the project. From St Francis Primary School office, Margaret Mangani was instrumental as school bursar in diligently and meticulously managing and accounting for various financial stages of the project. This added enormously to your load in the 2014 year. Thank you Margaret.

We have a magnificent school with the next stage soon to commence. We have a foundation staff and leadership team with an enthusiastic pioneering spirit.

Dear friends, all I can say is thank you as you reinforce the Gospel of Christ within our Parish. I am always in awe at the joy and welcome I experience when I visit the school and delighted by the number of parents who tell me how committed our teachers and staff are to the children in their care. We thank the parents and children for their contribution and the ownership they have taken of St Clare’s Primary School, Truganina. May you continue to witness in the Spirit of Clare with a sense of service to the Parish community as foundation families. I would also like to acknowledge the contractors who support the life of our school, making a school effective is a complex task and requires the skills and contributions of many. To those who offer their professional services we are truly grateful.
To our principal, Andrew Leighton, you came to us as our leader and fully embraced and immersed yourself into our community with enthusiasm and passion. You listened respectfully to our vision and brought your own deep commitment to Catholic education. You constantly emphasised the importance of offering the best for the children in your care. Andrew, you have already witnessed our vibrant community here at St James and I personally look forward to continuing the journey of missionary service in the years ahead.

May God bless us all as we prepare for the ongoing work here at St Clare, so that we may continue to be a place where not only our children, but our whole family will be welcomed and valued members of our community. Being a people who are committed to recognising and affirming the gifts and talents of others, celebrating diversity and embracing difference, let our motto here at St Clare be an authentic reality as we let Christ’s light shine in our hands.

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