Fr Mario Zammit MSSP


Fr Mario Zammit MSSP

Fr Mario who has been a long time visitor and friend of St James the Apostle, has been assigned to the Philippines after 6 years of serving the community at St John’s, Heidelberg.  He has been resident in the Parish of St James for over a year supporting the St James community of priests and parishioners and made several contributions to the life of our Parish.

Fr Mario has now been informed that he will be able to enter the Philippines with a 2 week quarantine in Manila.  This no doubt is good news for Fr Mario and for those who he will be serving as he joins the MSSP Manila Community in the House of Formation.

We take this opportunity to thank Fr Mario for his initiative, support, missionary discipleship and loving care that he has shown to the community of St James and the Archdiocese of Melbourne.  He will be truly missed.

Our prayers, love and gratitude to Fr Mario as he prepares to leave us for his next step of his theological vocation.


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It was Bono, lead singer of the famed Irish Band U2, who commented that “Music can change the world because it can change people.” Living proof of this was on display at the Fr Moran Performing Arts Centre at Thomas Carr College, Tarneit on Tuesday June 11 as a full and excited house was treated to a concert delight performed by the combined talents of the Jose De Piro Youth Orchestra from Bataan in the Philippines and the Thomas Carr College Concert Band with vocal support from the College choir.

All in the audience harmonised in a special way with the heart-warming story of how our young performers from challenging and often impoverished backgrounds in Bataan had with the visionary support of Paulist missionary Fr Joe Cremona mssp risen above this background to reach a level of musical excellence. We heard their story so eloquently explained by College staff member Geralyn McCarthy who visited Bataan in an immersion experience in 2018. However, to quote noted actor Johnny Depp whose ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ music was one of the performance highlights of the night – “Music touches us emotionally, where words alone can’t”. It was the quality of their music and the joyful spirit in which it was performed that spoke most powerfully.

Special mention must be made of how quickly both groups of performers gelled with just a day of practice together and for this their teachers deserve congratulations for ensuring their students were well readied for this experience. The Thomas Carr Concert Band lost nothing in comparison to our visitors in terms of the excellence of their performing. All in all a most enjoyable and successful evening.

Tony O’Byrne Principal Consultant Catholic Education Melbourne


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We would like to express our gratitude to all our benefactors who supported us in this wonderful experience we had in Australia. Thanks to Fr. Jude, Dr. Andrew Watson and his team, Members of MSSP in Australia and in the Philippines, to our dear host parents and all the Parishioners.

We would also like to thank Thomas Carr College, Tarneit, Trinity College, Colac, Caroline Chisolm Catholic College, Braybrook and Our Lady of Mercy College, Heidelberg for organizing memorable professional concerts where we could show our talents.

We thank you all for giving us a very warm welcome and a truly unforgettable opportunity. Who would have thought that one day our orchestra would be in Australia? You made us achieve one of our dreams. Thank you for appreciating our talents. We really enjoyed playing music with you.

We also thank the person behind this amazing project Fr. Joseph Cremona mssp, who is always there for us and who never stopped supporting us. We thank God for giving us such a great person with a wonderful heart. Without him, this experience would have never been possible.

We will surely treasure this experience which helps us grow and develop more. This is also an eye opener for us motivating us to take the project more seriously and with greater commitment.

Words are not enough but allow us to say THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts! MABUHAY!

Jose De Piro Youth Orchestra


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The Jose De Piro Kabataan (youth) orchestra began five years ago in the parish of St Catherine of Alexandria, under the pastoral care of the MSSP, in the poor village of Pagalanggang, in Dinalupihan, Bataan Province in the Philippines. The aim of this orchestra is to empower these young people giving them a skill they can use to better their life. Thirty-four members of this orchestra, together with their conductor and the parish priest are doing a ten day concert tour in Tarneit, Braybook, Heidelberg and Colac. The concerts are free, donations to support the orchestra are welcome. Some members of this orchestra are being sponsored to continue their studies at tertiary level in a university in Manila.

Please pray for the Jose De Piro Orchestra consisting of 34 young people joining us for 10 days starting from this Saturday 08th June. May this be an enriching and inspiring time for all. This is a marvellous opportunity of grace as we reveal and embrace the human face of our Christ in hospitality and love.

Thank you to the Host Families and all who have made this event possible.

You can meet the Orchestra as they attend Mass at St James on Sun 09 Jun at the 5:00pm Mass or at one of their concerts.

To book a free seat at their concert, please visit the following sites (please note, should the Tarneit Venue be fully booked, please try one of the other venues):


Thomas Carr College, Tarneit :
Caroline Chisolm College, Braybrook :
Our Lady of Mercy College, Heidelberg:
Trinity College, Colac :


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Experience faith in action while working among the poor in Manila city and Bataan province in the Philippines, between 2nd and 19th January 2020. Applicants between the ages of 18-35 will be given first preference; applicants over 35 will be considered if there is availability.

For details and to express interest email: [email protected] or call 0403 843 796 or the Parish Office on 9748 6800 during Office Hours, by Sunday 30th June. The trip is hosted by the Paulist Missionaries (MSSP).


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On the 4th of January 2019, Fr Jude and I joined Fr Mario and parishioners of St John’s, Heidelberg for a Mission Immersion.

We were greeted warmly by the Paulist Missionaries and shared their hospitality, prayer life and ministry.

Initially, I was apprehensive about going with a growing fear of the unknown but this was quickly overcome by the strong bond and friendships developed during the Immersion experience and the deep desire to reach out to those in need.

The experience captured for me the inspiring ministry of the mssp community both in Manila and Bataan, other religious orders, the many lay volunteers and the Church’s outreach to the poor and marginalised.

The Immersion experience helped us understand and involve ourselves in Jesus’ mission where we came face to face with the local communities in need from Prison Ministry, visiting the squatter families in 13th Street, living in very poor conditions, engaging with the families, caring for disabled children at orphanages, assisting staff and volunteers with household and personal care, tasks such as feeding and interacting with toddlers and children.

At the Jose De Piro Centre in the mssp Parish of St Catherine of Alexandria we visited the many schools, visited parishioners and engaged in the life of the community.

Over all the experience was both challenging and confronting as well as uplifting and life-changing.  So many amazing people that we met and I feel forever changed.

The value and support of the many debrief sessions and reflection day helped me to realise that we are all brothers and sisters, empathising with the people we met, sharing their daily joy and sorrows, celebrating their richness and gifts and feeling for their pain.  I learnt as much from them, possibly more as they learned from me.

Supported throughout the experience by critical and prayerful sharing, we as a group recognised that we are all involved in taking responsibility for their reality in our global society.

Colin Bracken


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Dear Parishioners,

I am very pleased to report that we have raised just over $30,000 to enable the tour to occur. This was our target so thank you to all who have contributed. Your generosity is just amazing. We are now in the process of finalising their travel arrangements to Melbourne and the itinerary for the Orchestra while in Melbourne.

They will perform at Thomas Carr College, Tarneit, Caroline Chisholm Catholic College, Braybrook, Our Lady of Mercy College, Heidelberg and Trinity College, Colac.

In the new year we will be asking for families within the Parish to host students from the Orchestra during their stay. Thank you once again for your support of the tour and I look forward to providing you with more details in the new year. May your Christmas be filled with the love of family, the joy of friends and the blessing of god’s peace throughout the coming year.

Andrew Watson
Principal of Thomas Carr Catholic College

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Thank you to everyone who has supported this appeal. We reached 60% of our target which allows us to start the process of arranging the children from Bataan, Philippines, to come to Australia to showcase their efforts to lift themselves and their community out of poverty.

Donations are still welcome towards this appeal. For donations and/or information, contact the Parish Office on 9748 6800.


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Information relating to the Jose De Piro Bataan Orchestra Appeal can be found in the flyers which are located in the magazine racks in the Narthex. Any donations/sponsorships will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your support of this important appeal to bring to Australia the talented students from Bataan one of the poorest areas in the Philippines.


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St James The Apostle