Our Church Our Parish – St Catherine of Siena
In 2004 Mass was said in the school hall of Christ the Priest – Caroline Springs by Fr Karmel Borg (Parish Priest for St Peter Chanel – Deer Park). The mass attendance was modest attended by the growing catholic population of Caroline Springs and comprised of maybe 100 parishioners or so. These parishioners were part of the St Peter Chanel Parish in Deer Park but who had come to live in Caroline Springs. The first ministries were the choir and altar servers. In those days Mass was said only on Sunday at 10.30 am as Fr Borg also had to say Mass at St. Peter Chanel. Fr Paul Newton an assistant priest took turns with Fr Borg to say Mass.
For about 2 years Mass was celebrated this way until Jan 18 2006 when the parish of St Catherine of Siena was formed from the growing community. Now we celebrate Mass during the week and on Saturday at 6.00 pm and Sunday at 9.00 am and 10.30 am. Fr. John Tollan is our parish priest.
The people of St Catherine of Siena Parish make up the church in Caroline Springs and we now have many ministries. Although we still celebrate the Eucharist in the school hall we now have four Choirs including a youth Choir, Altar Servers, an RCIA group, a Baptism team, a Charismatic Prayer Group, Parish Grandma’s, a Wednesday walk chat and coffee group, and an active Social committee. On every third Sunday we have a morning tea for all who wish to attend and have a chat. Every third Sunday Fr. John also blesses couples whose wedding anniversaries come within that month.
Sr Denise Hanneberry joined our parish in 2007 and has been actively teaching the community what it means to be a catholic community together with Fr John. Sr Denise conducts the walk and chat group as well as a Prayer and Reflection Group where she shares her in depth knowledge and life long theology about the bible and teachings of Jesus Christ.
Our youth have attended the 11th World Youth Day held in July 2008 in Sydney where Pope Benedict delivered a wonderful message of Hope to the world youth. As our parish grew so too did our schools and we now have two schools within our parish, Christ the Priest and St George Preca which began classes this year.
Our most recent activities include St Catherine of Siena feast day celebrated on Sunday 3 May 2009 (official day is 29 April) where our 10.30 Mass was attended by nearly 600 people. More than 1500 people came to celebrate our feast day that day and many enjoyed Krispy Kremes, sausage sizzles, drinks, scones, popcorn and many rides. Our parent / teacher Band “After school Detention’ performed, as did the schools combined choir, with others performances by students showing off their many talents. It was a glorious success. Other social activities planned each year include Christmas Carols, a parish dinner and many others activities. We hope and pray that we will soon have our own church building in which to celebrate Mass. Regardless of the building we the people make up the church. Recent statistics showed Caroline Springs at 45% Catholic population up from the 39.9% ABS statistics 2006, a growing community indeed.
All are welcome to come and celebrate the Eucharist with us either on Saturday 6.00, Sunday 9 am and 10.30 am. We are the church and we celebrate together.
On behalf of the people of St Catherine of Siena Parish – Caroline Springs
Secretary St Catherine of Siena Social Committee
Sunshine Deanery Representative