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St James Major Parish Raffle – Results

Congratulations to our winners for the St James Major Parish Raffle:

1st Prize          Lisa Bennett, Ticket 5981 bought through St Francis Primary
2nd Prize        Deandra, Ticket 7705 bought through St Clare’s Primary
3rd Prize         M. Carabott, Ticket 7149 bought through St James Parish
4th Prize         C. Johnson, Ticket 2186 bought through St James Primary
5th Prize         Connie, Ticket 5730 bought through St Francis Primary

We express our appreciation to our Raffle Sponsors:

Philippine Tours, who donated the 1st Prize of a $2,000 travel voucher

The Sawyer Family, who donated the 2nd Prize of a 6×4 trailer

Benlor Real Estate from Trevor Homes who donated the 3rd Prize of a $600.00 Bunnings Voucher

Parish Families who donated the 4th Prize of a Coles/Myer voucher valued at $400.00 and the 5th Prize of a Fuel Voucher valued at $100.00

Our Parish Raffle was a huge success, and that raffle would not have been possible without your help.


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Thank you to everyone that joined us last week to celebrate our Parish Feast. Here is one Parishioner’s experience of the celebrations:

We felt so extremely privileged to be part of the St James Feast celebrations.  The evening mass, although we missed the wonderful music, still managed to be a really special and festive occasion, drawing together so many of our community including Fr Ivano, who concelebrated the Eucharist with Fr Jude.  It was also great to reflect about our patron saint. The Parish Party that followed, surpassed our expectations.  We expected a dinner and raffle, but there was surprise after surprise, with so many varied activities to please everyone, even dancing!

I feel like it was very symbolic and appropriate that the entertainment was lead by our own Youth Group with a thought provoking drama, which we ended up discussing driving home.  The message given to us was certainly very timely and reinforced that what we are all striving for is worthwhile.  It was also very reassuring to see so many people involved in the organising of this event, as one could clearly witness that many hands make light work, everything seemed to flow effortlessly.  We enjoyed the artistic items including the Wizard, who seemed to enjoy himself as much as all the children that he was entertaining, and of course Fr Jude was a great host.

These celebrations are vital to bring everyone together in such a relaxed and enjoyable setting, getting to know the various members of our community.  It really helped us to increase our confidence that we belong to something which is really valuable.   We feel really lucky to have such a vibrant and growing Parish.

Beata Rawdanowicz, Parishioner


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Young Paulists – Living Fulfilling Lives

On Thurs 14 Jul, members of our community met with some of the people who took part in Mission 15, as part of speaking about the upcoming Mission 17 to the Philippines.  Here is what one participant felt about those who presented on the night:

It was such a pleasure to attend the Mission 2017 information evening and to listen to those that had been involved in past journeys.

The itinerary for 2017 looks extraordinary and those that attend will surely have a wonderful experience.

Listening to the reflections from Sheryn, Taryn, Justin, Dylan, Anthony and Myla about Mission 2015 was inspiring. Through these, it was clear the group came back deeply enriched by the experience. The charism of the Paulist Missionaries clearly lives strong in this group, who while seeking to serve others in poor and marginalised communities, themselves spoke of the deeper connection with their own faith and the perspective and meaning this experience provided to their lives.

What a truly worthwhile mission being pursued by an amazing group of people. All the very best to those that take part in 2017.

Tom Bridges
Director of International Programs


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On behalf of Fr Jude and the Parish Council, I would like to thank the Knights of the Southern Cross for sponsoring our adult formation session, held on Wednesday evening, on “Love and Mercy in the Gospel of John.

The well-renowned Johannine theologian, Fr Francis Moloney sdb, presented a very inspiring theological reflection of John 13 when Jesus, faced with his imminent death, chose to reveal his love for his disciples by doing something both deceptively simple yet profoundly significant: by washing their feet! Fr Frank reflected on how the act of washing feet was a revelatory act, revealing the extent of God’s love for us in the act of laying down of life in humble service. By this simple and personal act, we learnt, Jesus also reveals what the community of faith must do to share in the divine story: to be true disciples and to share in the eternal life that comes from faith in Jesus, we (like Peter) must be washed by Jesus and we, in turn, must ‘wash the feet’ of others in a spirit of genuine humility and compassion. Jesus’ washing of the feet of his disciples is indeed symbolic of the love that characterises our God.

In this Year of Mercy, we are invited to do as Jesus has done: to reveal the humble and selfless love of God by washing the feet of others.

Geralyn McCarthy


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The funeral Mass for Fr Paul Kierce mssp will be on Wednesday 27th July at 10:00am at St Joseph’s Parish, 183 Hope St, Brunswick West.

Fr Paul assisted Fr Jude in our Parish at the Sat 6:00pm and the Sun 8:30am Masses for three years until he was diagnosed with cancer 2 and a half years ago.

All are welcome to attend.


Fr Ivan Burdian, Provincial of the Paulists Missionaries, wrote this letter to his brother priests on Wednesday 20th July after Fr Paul’s death:


Dear brothers,

I have to convey the very sad news that Paul Kierce died this morning after 2 and a half years of struggle with cancer.

Paul had a fall last Thursday and was hospitalised. He was very weak and was placed in the Palliative care ward. He had some good days and bad. Yesterday he was very tired. This morning he had a turn and died at about 10.00am our time.

Last night as I was walking home after visiting him I was struggling to focus on the rosary when it struck me how they (the 5 sorrowful mysteries) reflected Paul’s own journey these last 2 and a half years.

He went through the agony of the discovery of the original bowel cancer and the consequences of it spreading in the body, especially as they could not cure him but at best prolong life. He had to revisit the agony as news progressively got worse including the definitive news that the chemo was no longer useful and to enter Palliative care. The last time was the news he would not be coming home any more. While at times it was a struggle for him, he embraced these moments with faith.

His body was scourged with the cancers, the chemo, nausea, falls, infections, and God knows what else, he may not have liked it, especially being in hospital, but he embraced them with faith. His mind was pierced with confusion, tiredness, sometimes dementia like symptoms and again he struggled through them with faith.

From the beginning of this Calvary he carried the cross without too much complaint and in Paulish fashion, trying not to be centre of attention. My suspicion is that these last few days he began feeling pain at times, but didn’t want others to be put out. While he may have been tied with the rope of cancer and led down a road he would have preferred not to go, he walked it with faith and trust in his God.

These last few days he finished his 5th mystery getting ready for the final step home.

Its been a privilege to walk with him on this path, he has been a witness to me and helped me to break open some of my own selfishness and preconceptions. It has also been nourishing for me to see all the people that have expressed their love for Paul or who have been touched by him and his ministry.

I have no doubt that Paul now joins all our other brothers in the kingdom and I am sure he now prays both for our ongoing mission in Australia and for all of us. Keep his brother Peter in your prayers, this is the second brother he has lost to cancer.

Take care and God bless,





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Feast Day of St James the Apostle

St James the Apostle was the great protector of pilgrims. In his spirit, we hope that all who venture here are made strong in faith and steadfast in hope on this pilgrim’s journey: the path of Christian life.

To James and to his other disciples, Jesus simply said, “Follow me.” This Gospel truth is strikingly simple but sometimes hard to live.

At St James the Apostle Parish, with the grace of God and through the generosity of our parishioners, all are invited to be sustained on the journey. Together, as a community, we step forward and risk the journey of faith.

Our lives are full of graced moments. Whether you are a visitor, a recent arrival to the rapidly growing area of Hoppers Crossing North, Tarneit or Truganina, or simply looking for a spiritual home, we are confident that you will find our parish to be an inspirational place where you can enrich your Christian life, and explore and grow in faith. The faith of our Parish community today is sustained through the experience of many humble and faith-filled witnesses who, through their generosity, shine a light in many different ministries as they help us feel the warmth of Jesus. The sacraments we celebrate at St James and these ministries which we offer are signs of a gracious God who never stops revealing himself.

May St James intercede for us today and help us to follow his example. Like him, may we recognize our human limitations, and thus grow in our humility and our loving trust in God who desires to do great things through us and bring us into His kingdom of love and self-giving.

May God bless us all on this day of St James as we continue to build bridges that unite us all to Christ. Happy Feast Day to all Parishioners and friends.

Fr Jude and the Parish Council


A St James Prayer

O Gentle Jesus, St James was one of your first Apostles, but he started out as a very impulsive, self-centered man. He dared to ask You for a place of honour in your kingdom and he wanted You to destroy the villages that had rejected You, but eventually he developed a true understanding of holiness.

I ask St James to pray that

my humility grows stronger than my pride,

that I submit my will to Your will,

and that when I speak, my words reveal Your gentleness and love.

Restrain me when I want to rush ahead and give me a broader perspective when I’m seeing things through a narrow, limited view.

St James, pray for me.



The Feast of St James is on Mon 25 July and will be celebrated with a Mass at 9:45am in the Community Hall.  All are welcome to attend.


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On Thurs 23 June, the Parish held a Volunteers Meeting where we updated our volunteers on how as a Parish we were seeking to meet the ever changing face of ensuring our Parish is a safe, vibrant and enriching place.  Here is what one person had to say about the experience:

The information session for volunteers provided me with insights into my obligation as a volunteer. Fr Jude and Geralyn McCarthy lead the workshop and spoke about both parish and legal aspects of conduct within the Parish Community and in particular in any dealings with children, elderly and the vulnerable.

As the night progressed, it became apparent to me how vitally important it is to understand my legal obligations as a volunteer through our actions and/or inaction.

I left with a greater knowledge and appreciation for guidelines and my responsibilities as a parish volunteer in order to make our parish community great.


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It was such a pleasure to attend the Mission 2017 information evening and to listen to those that had been involved in past journeys.

The itinerary for 2017 looks extraordinary and those that attend will surely have a wonderful experience.

Listening to the reflections from Sheryn, Taryn, Justin, Dylan, Myla and Anthony about Mission 2015 was inspiring.  Through these, it was clear the group came back deeply enriched by the experience.  The charism of the Paulist Missionaries clearly lives strong in this group, who while seeking to serve others in poor and marginalised communities, themselves spoke of the deeper connection with their own faith and the perspective and meaning this experience provided to their lives.

What a truly worthwhile mission being pursued by an amazing group of people. All the very best to those that take part in 2017.


Tom Bridges

Director of International Programs

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Thank You Tess Mijares

We give thanks to Tess Mijares who is retiring as Parish Bookkeeper this month who has this to share of her time with the Parish:

Well the time has come for me to hang up the boots as I move on to the next chapter in my life in retirement and wish you all Farewell and thank each and every one of you who have made my time here at St James such a memorable one.

I started back in 2008 when Fr Jude asked me to come and have a cup of coffee with him. We really connected and have had one of the best working relationships ever. He has allowed me to develop both personally and professionally. Thank you to Fr Mars, you were always ready to help me when I had a problem.

Thank you to the Missionary Society of St Paul, Fr. Mark, Fr, Ivano, Fr. Steve, Fr. Paul, Fr Edwin, Fr Ray, Fr Joe, Fr Nilton, Fr. Hector, Fr Mario Micallef, Fr Lonnie, Fr. John, Fr. Clinton. Fr. Noel, Fr. Dennis, Fr. Mars and Fr. Jude.

You have all given me so much. I will treasure the time I have spent with you guys both here and in the Philippines. May God continue to bless you in your work, and know I will always be available to help in little ways.

Thank you to Jacinta, Red, Tita and Maria, who I have worked with over the eight years. The Parish Office is a busy Office, but we have managed to keep on top of the ever changing world of Procedures and Policies. We have also had some fun along the way, thinking back to many Parish Dinner Dances and Parties. We have helped each other through some tough times as well.

Thank you to Geralyn and the Parish Council who have always been very helpful and obliging to me. Perhaps now we can have the odd lunch or coffee Geralyn.

Thank you to all the Principals, Teachers, Secretaries and Bursars of our Catholic Schools both Primary and Secondary, who have always worked with the Parish Office and extended to me every courtesy.

To all the wonderful volunteers who give of their time so freely. Thank you. You have taught me what a real working parish is like. I have made many friends over my time here which I hope will continue. I will be around from time to time to say hello.

And lastly, I would like to thank Angel who is taking over my role as Bookkeeper. She has learnt quickly and I know she will be an asset to Fr. Jude and the Parish Community of St James in the future.

Tess Mijares


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Based on true events.


The organisers of the bi-annual Vintage Group bus trip had long been hoping Tuesday 5 July 2016 will be a glorious winter sunny day.
As it turned out, we all woke up to a freezing 8 degrees , pelting rain and wind that further pushed down the mercury.
Wonder of wonders, all but one of our seniors turned up in time for departure from the St James car park …………… all 35 of them.
As you can see from the accompanying pictures, they all had geared up for sub-zero temperatures, just in case !
By 10.15 we arrived at Woodend and with umbrellas flapping, we raced to the closest bakery for morning tea.
By now, some members were either cursing their luck, or in most cases, had started seeing the funny side and were truly having fun.
At 11.00 we again boarded the two buses and headed for lunch at the Blackwood Hotel. Incidentally, this is the oldest pub made of weatherboards in Australia……and it is HAUNTED !!!!…..or so we were told!!!???
The pub was still closed when we arrived, prompting the over-zealous among us to suggest we go elsewhere. However the howling wind and the persistent rain dictated otherwise.
Soon a ray of light… to speak, as the skies were dark and threatening !
The post office closed and the Post Master crossed the road to open the pub.
A few of us volunteered to start the fire-place, only to be told it wasn’t working !!!???
But who cares when we will soon be digging into succulent steaks with exotic sauces and downing vintage red wine.
Our hopes came crushing down when we were told we could only have either roast chicken or fish ‘n chips (seniors’ portions😓)…. and on an alternating basis. Wine was $9 a glass, so most of us opted for the free lukewarm tea in “vintage” mugs.
By now many eyes were rolling.
Some were complaining while others were creating impromptu jokes, much to the disgust of the Post Master / Inn Keeper.
This man of many talents tried to still the waters by serving TIRAMISU for dessert, adding he was from Werribee and he wanted to treat us…..more laughter !!!
As if by some miraculous intervention, after lunch, our friend the Post Master / Inn-Keeper turned into a Post Master / Inn-Keeper / Tourist Guide and for a miserable $5 a head, took us for a tour of the largely deserted Blackwood……… our own buses of course !
After numerous cemeteries, acre after acre of look-alike trees, abondoned mine shafts and a shed they call the Blackwood Museum (or similar), we all headed towards home.
No, on this occasion we did not have a meal in a five * restaurant but we all basked, if not in sunshine, in the glowing friendship the Vintage Group has come to excel in.


Reno 🙋

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St James The Apostle