Marginal Regional Parishes of Australia

Australia is a large continent, with much of the land sparsely populated.

The aim of this stream is to support evangelisation in remote areas of Australia by providing financial assistance to a Catholic parish or parishes in order for them to remain open and serving their parishioners.

This financial assistance may be in the form of capital maintenance or recurrent operating costs.

Our first Remote Regional Parish to be assisted will be Streaky Bay/Ceduna, in South Australia.

Streaky Bay/Ceduna Parish has five churches and one priest. The Parish Priest, Fr Steve Ardill, well know to Fr Mick, undertook part of his formation with the Salesians. He has advised us that the Parish is financially challenged. "Council rates, emergency services levies, utilities, insurance and pest control are major imposts. In addition, maintenance costs for our Parish buildings are high. Presently, the rooves on our St. Michael’s Church (Chandada) and St. Canute’s Church (Streaky Bay) need replacing and the significant structural work is needed to re-render, repair the cracking and paint Christ the King Church (Minnipa). We are not able to celebrate Mass in this Church at present due to safety concerns."

The region of the Streaky Bay Parish(in black), in relation to Adelaide(in red).

The location of the various churches within the Parish.

In late June we will discuss with Fr Ardill and his finance team how we might specifically be able to assist them in coming years. We will have more information for you following these discussions.

Fr Steve is providing his parishioners with the attached letter, advising them of our financial assistance in coming years. They are truly grateful for our assistance.

Aside from financial assistance from the MIA Fund, we will be working with them to determine ways in which our Parishes can have a closer relationship, a sort of Sister Parish relationship like our Friendship with Maliana. Unlike the Maliana relationship, we will not be seeking assistance from parishioners through donations or fund raising events. All financial assistance will come from our Mission in Action Fund.

Some of our Parish Groups have already made inroads into this new relationship. When they heard that Fr Steve and his Pastoral Care team visit a number parishioners living in Nursing Homes or homes unable to attend Mass, they made the following contributions:

  • Our Knitting Group have donated several of their beautiful rugs.

  • Our Rosary Bead makers have donated quite a number of pairs of beads. The parishes have no Catholic Schools, but the Rosary beads will be offered to children during their sacramental programs and children living in indigenous communities.

  • A Parishioner makes beautiful Jesus Crosses, and he has donated a large 400mm cross to symbolise the friendship between our Parishes. He has provided two smaller crosses to gift as they see appropriate.