Official Blessing of St James Church Refurbishments – Sun 18 April

Archbishop Peter Comensoli will be joining us to celebrate at our Special Mass on Sunday 18 April at 3pm for the Official Blessing of our newly renovated church.

People who were successful in the Ballot for a place inside the church for our Church Blessing have been notified.

People who were unsuccessful in the ballot or who did not register for the Ballot that still want to attend can book an overflow place outside the church or in the Paulist Centre where it will be livestreamed. Bookings are now open online (click HERE) and close 5pm Wednesday 14 April.


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Please note the new and updated
time for this event.

There will be a special Mass on Sunday 18 April at 3pm for the Official Blessing of our newly renovated church. Due to COVID restrictions limiting the number of people allowed in the church, a Ballot will be drawn to determine who can attend within the church. Successful parties will still need to find their own seats within the church according to their group size on a first come first served basis like any other Sunday Mass.

People unsuccessful in the Ballot and those who did not register will be able to book places for either:

  • Standing room outside on the northern side of the church; or
  • seating in the Paulist Centre where Mass will be livestreamed onto the big screens

Ballot Registration

To register for the Ballot, book through the regular weekly link for Masses (preferred method) or alternatively, leave your details on the Ballot Registration Sheet after Mass. You must provide the name of each person requiring a seat. Details from your Ballot Registration will also be used as a record for COVID contact tracing purposes.

Parishioners can only register once either on the Registration Sheet or online.  Please do not register on both systems.

Any person allocated a seat in the Ballot who cannot attend is requested to notify the Parish Office so their seat(s) can be redrawn and allocated to someone else who registered.

Ballot closes 8:00pm Sunday 4 April (Easter Sunday).


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The Young Paulists are holding their annual Easter Fundraiser, with the sale of Hot Cross Buns. The Buns will be available for purchase for $5 each and on Palm Sunday Weekend (27/28 Mar) at all Masses. All profits raised will go towards supporting the ongoing work of the Young Paulists.  Stock is limited, so get in fast to avoid missing out!


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Fr Jude’s Message

Dear Parishioners and friends,

Last weekend we gathered at last in our beautifully renovated and expanded Parish Church Building. For many people, not to be able to enter our church building over the last year, has been a serious depravation. Re-entry felt like a joyful homecoming, a long awaited return from exile, with an opportunity to celebrate the presence of the risen Christ in our midst. New challenges and opportunities continue to emerge as a result of the pandemic including new ways of being Church and of worshipping together.

Though we are in the middle of the penitential season of Lent, it is surely a day of thanksgiving to God, gratitude and joy. It is no small thing for a Parish to spend a great deal of money on a renovation and indeed the expansion of its church building, especially at a time when finance is tight and social distancing, because of the pandemic, is still in force. Yet our Parish community had chosen to do so because the church is significant for the people’s hope and faith. St Paul reminds us that we are the Body of Christ. Now God dwells among his people, the Church, the early Christians were so convinced of this that they called the building constructed for worship ‘the house for the Church’ Domus Ecclesiae, or, as we are often reminded, it is the people who are the church and not the building. The building simply houses the Church. It was very pleasing to hear many of our Parishioners affirming the newly refurbished sacred space, with messages of gratitude through emails and text messages.

Once again I express my gratitude to the architects from Smith and Tracey, Raysett the builders, the Parish Council, the Building Committee, St James the Apostle Primary School, Thomas Carr College, and the many volunteers and donors who generously offered their time, energy and financial support to see this project through.


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Covid restrictions allowing, we are excited to announce that we are planning to return to Masses in St James Church starting from the weekend of 06/07 March.

Bookings for Mass will continue to be a requirement for attending weekend Mass.

The church will have a capacity that is less than the Paulist Centre. In light of this, beginning the weekend of 06/07 March, an extra weekend Mass will be introduced. Weekend Masses at St James will change to:

Sat 6pm
Sun 7:30am
Sun 9:00am
Sun 10:30am
Sun 5pm

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Thank You

Thank you to everyone who support the Church Extensions. Thank you to the Sunday School Families from the Werribee Sri Lankan Community who generously donated $3600 towards the Church extension during these difficult times.

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Dear Parishioners, people have been asking where we stand financially as a parish with the current drop in thanksgiving. The parish contributions over the last few months have dropped significantly. Although this has left the parish in a financially vulnerable position, it is encouraging to note that despite all the hardship, the parish income stands at roughly 60% as compared to last year’s. The graph below, prepared by Angel (our bookkeeper), gives a clear indication of this comparison between March-June of 2019 and 2020.

We thank those who continue to support the parish through the on-line direct debit and credit cards, or by any other means. If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the parish office. We understand that not everyone is able to make a financial contribution at this time, but for those who can, we are reaching out to you. All support, moral and/or financial, is very much appreciated at this time, as the parish relies on your encouraging response for its continued functioning.

Thanksgiving or Church Extension
On-line contributions to can be made directly to the Parish Bank Account through an Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT).
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. Eg: If your Thanksgiving number is 123, and your surname is Smith, then use the reference “123-Smith”.

For Church Extension, please use as reference your surname and -ChExt. Eg: Smith-ChExt.


Presbytery Donation
On-line contributions to can be made directly to the MSSP Hoppers Crossing North bank account:
Account Name: Missionary Society of St Paul
BSB: 083-153
Account number: 869470113
Please use as reference “Presby-” and your surname. Eg: Presby-Smith

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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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