This page is primarily intended to help new parishioners settle quickly into this large parish. By showing the many activities in the parish it is hoped that you will be able to find your way around the parish ministries and appreciate the vast range of activities that make up this vital and dynamic Catholic community. I hope this page helps you to find out who’s who quickly. The photos will enable you to know at least some of the parishioners. The information also invites you to become involved in areas that interest you.
At St Bernadette’s we see ourselves as family. The information contained in this page is there to make you feel that this is your home and give you a sense of belonging.
Again, welcome to St Bernadette’s, Castle Hill.
Father Fernando Montano
- The Parish Team
View the current parish team.
- Acolytes closely assist the priests, other ministers and the congregation during liturgical celebrations, particularly the weekly celebration of the Eucharist, and are entrusted with the appropriate preparations so that each celebration can occur in an orderly and reverent manner. During the week, acolytes further assist at Masses for the recently deceased, and for the school children, the weekly adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and, during the sacramental programs, conduct tours of the church for the children preparing to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation
- Contact: Melvyn Myers 8883 1166
- Altar Group Parishioners who are rostered every nine or ten weeks to launder the altar linen and priests’ vestments.
- Contact: Tess De Santo 0417 239 955
- Altar Servers
The youngest ministers in the church, can commence to serve from grade 4, following a formation course over a number of weeks. They closely assist the acolytes and the priests by undertaking a number of important tasks during the liturgical celebrations. Of particular importance, though, is their spiritual enrichment through a better understanding and involvement in the celebration of the Eucharist, which will serve them well as they grow in age, faith, and love of our Lord.
- Contact: Fr Shinto Francis at the Parish Office 9634 2622
- Little Rock Scripture Study is a course held four times a year which studies the various gospels.
- Contact: Mary Winslow 0476 279 870
- Baptismal Preparation Programme is a team of parishioners who prepare families for the baptism of their children.
- Contact: Colleen & Gary Doherty 9651 3602
- Blankets for the Needy
This group knit and/or crochet squares which are assembled into single bedblankets. The blankets are donated to St Vincent de Paul Society for distribution to the needy or to a women’s refuge. They meet alternate months during the winter for companionship, sharing of ideas, pooling of squares and a friendly cuppa. Transport is available if needed.
- Contact: Jo Wickens 9634 5961
The Parish Bookshop operates before and after each weekend Mass. A range of religious goods and giftware are sold at the shop.
- Contact: Christine Jenneke 0433 183 322
- Care Group
The Care Group help parishioners in need of transport or referral to appropriate government agencies andvisits those who are sick or elderly. They also provide transport for elderly parishioners to the Healing Mass each First Friday of the month and cater for a light lunch after the Mass.
- Contact: Maureen Fearnside 9634 3329 & Susan Cejka 9680 7504
Each week a large group of Catechists go into the 4 State schools in the parish to teach scripture to the children for half an hour.
- Contact: Christine Jenneke 0433 183 322
- Catechumenate (RCIA)
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults encourages people interested in finding out more about the Catholic faith. This is run by a team of committed parishioners.
- Contact: Hubert Jenneke 0490 521 294
A group of Catholic business and professional men who meet monthly for dinner and mutual support.
- Contact: Malcolm Clow 9639 1915
- Chat & Craft
This group meets every second and fourth Fridays of the month in the Marian Centre for conversation, craft and anything else which will contribute to building up St Bernadette’s community.
- Contact: Ellen Wallace 9634 7276
- Children’s Liturgy
Children’s Liturgy runs every Sunday at the 9am Mass and is open to school age children. There are two groups operating: the younger group with children in Kindergarten, Year One and Year Two; and the older group with children attending from Year Three to Year Six. Each Sunday, Children’s Liturgy involves prayers, discussion, a lesson relating to the scripture of the day and a worksheet linking the lesson. We have a team of dedicated volunteers who enable the children to engage with God’s Word at their level. Through the Gospel stories, children learn more about God and this helps to make the Mass a more relevant and enjoyable experience for them.
- Contact: Danielle Vassallo 9680 1331
- Christian Meditation Group
Learn Meditation in the Christian tradition. Meetings are on Thursday evenings in the Lourdes Centre off Brisbane Road.
- Contact: Lesley Maker 8677 8845
- Church Cleaning
This group is responsible for cleaning the sacristies and altar vessels.
- Contact: Andrea Tomic 9872 4062
- Communion Ministers
A group of parishioners who assist the priest in distributing Holy Communion during Masses, especially on Sundays.
- Contact: Nancy Eberhaut 9634 2622
- Communion Ministers to the Sick
A group of parishioners who take Holy Communion to the sick and aged on Sundays and weekdays.
- Contact: Bernadette Boulos 9871 2035
- Cooking for the Needy
We organise the Cooking for the Needy teams. We are about 90 volunteers who supply frozen pre- cooked meals to the St Vincent De Paul team. Each volunteer cooks according to a roster on about a 6 weekly basis.
- Contact Frances at the Parish Office
- Eucharistic Adoration & Rosary Group
organizes a Holy hour every Thursday evening 8-9pm. This Rosary group was formed to answer a spiritual need in the Parish. The evening’s programme is under the leadership of various members and includes hymns, a Scripture reading with private prayer time, Rosary and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is included on the first Thursday of each month. All Parishioners and visitors are welcome to join us at any time – occasionally or frequently.
- Contact: Krystyna Graczyk 9659 5484
- Family Groups
Each family group consists of 10 – 12 families who meet socially monthly and support and help each other in times of need. This is a good way for new people to meet other families within the parish and the groups are open to all – grandparents, families, single parent families, widowed and divorced people and non-Catholic spouses.
- Contact: Ray & Maureen Scully 9634 6925
- Finance Committee
The Finance Committee is a group of parishioners who offer advice to the parish priest on financial matters affecting the parish.
- Contact: Fr Fernando Montano at the Parish Office 9634 2622
- Flower Arrangements
A team of parishioners provide flower arrangements for weekly Masses, liturgical ceremonies and weddings on a roster basis.
- Contact: Frances – Parish Secretary – 9634 2622
- Grief Support Group
This group aims to offer support to those who are grieving by contacting them when it learns of bereavement. In May each year a “Celebration of Life” is held – this is a liturgy offering support.
- Contact: Carmel Moriarty (evening) 9634 4952
- Lectors (Readers)
Parishioners are trained and rostered to proclaim the Word of God at Sunday Masses, usually on a five weekly basis.
- Contact: Nancy Eberhaut 9634 2622
- Beyond 60
This group is centred around a fortnightly cards/mah-jong/scrabble night. Various activities and excursions take place after being initiated by individual members who are then supported in their arrangements by the committee. There is no formal structure and casual attendance is the norm. New members and new ideas are welcome.
- Contact: Carmen James 9634 4014
- Life Teen Youth Ministry
- Into Life is a youth group for school students in years 7-8. They meet Friday nights, 7-8:30pm, in the Parish Hall. Through games and activities teenagers are able to interact with each other, make new friends and strengthen existing friendships. The prayer time at the end of each meeting helps teenagers grow and strengthen their faith. There are also regular social events beyond Friday nights.
- Into Life Leaders are young adults and teenagers year 10 and above who help run the games and activities and provide positive role models for the younger teenagers. New leaders are always welcome!
- Life Nights is a youth group for school students in years 9-12. They meet Sunday nights, 7:30-8:30pm, in the Parish Hall. Through fun and creative activities, the Catholic Faith is brought to life for teenagers. There are also regular social events beyond Sunday nights.
- Life Night Leaders are young adults who plan and run these creative nights as well as providing positive role models for the teenagers. New leaders are always welcome!
- Contact: Laura Burton 0433 259 234
- Money Counters
The Money Counting Ministry Team provides a very important financial service to the Castle Hill Parish Community by completing the counting of envelopes and loose money donated by parishioners at the weekly Parish Masses. We currently have 11 Money Counting Teams with 50 active participants. Many of these volunteers have completed this ministry for many years. The money counting role is completed on a Sunday morning straight after the 7:30am Mass and is usually finished by 10:00am. New members to this ministry are always welcome!
- Contact: Matthew Troy 9899 3657
- Music Ministry
Singers and musicians play regularly at our 6pm Vigil, 9am, 10.30 & 6pm Masses.
- Contact: Fred Hawkins 9899 2868
- Parish Pastoral Council
The Pastoral Council is made up of the parish team, a representative from the Finance Committee and ten members selected by all parish groups (3 are chosen annually). Its function is to advise the Parish Team on the needs of parishioners and to support the Parish Priest in the administration of the parish.
- Contact: Mark Beard 0418 457 535
- Parish Sacramental Programmes
Every year the parish runs programmes for children preparing to receive the Sacraments of First Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Parishioners are always needed to serve as committee members, facilitators and home hosts for each programme.
- Contact: Alice Bradshaw 9634 2622
An informal gathering of mothers and young pre- school children is held in the Out of School Hours Centre on Monday and Thursday mornings. Activities are organised for the children and social contact is provided for the mothers.
- Contact: Carolyn Lincoln 0411 547 285
- Reparation Prayer Group
This prayer group meets for prayer and scripture readings on Tuesday evenings in the Basement of the Parish Office.
- Contact: Reg Sinha 0422 365 115
- St. Bernadette’s Netball Club
This netball club is for women and girls of all ages. Training is provided by experienced coaches.
- Contact: Rachel Boxshall 0412 661 806
- St. Bernadette’s Out of Hours Care
Available at the Lourdes Centre each morning (7am- 8.15am) and afternoon (3pm-6pm) during school term.
- Contact: Lauren Kane 0408 582 535
- St. Bernadette’s Parents & Friends
Through social and fundraising activities, the P & F assist the school in the provision of facilities for its pupils.
- Contact: Steven Lavis 0407 280 290
- St. Bernadette’s Soccer Club (Junior)
The club caters for boys and girls aged 5-12 usually playing in the churches Saturday morning competition.
- Contact: John Cartwright 0418 687 974
- St. Vincent de Paul Society
Practical Christianity is the work of parishioners who belong to the St Vincent de Paul Society. Meeting every Tuesday, they help those in need in Castle Hill and other parishes.
- Contact: Les Blanch 0424 383 449
- Sunday Mass Transport
A group of parishioners help to convey elderly churchgoers to 9am Sunday Mass This is a once a month commitment.
- Contact: Tim Abrams 0417 622 405
Ushers welcome parishioners and visitors to the weekend Masses.
- Contact: Brian Forwood 9894 0442
- Welcoming Group
The Welcoming Group makes a simple courteous gesture to new parishioners. The aim is to direct them toward any parish group they may be interested in, offer a contact point and ensure they have settled comfortably into our parish community.
“For where two or three are
gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.”