Bishop Michael Visits the North of his Diocese

Bishop Michael returned recently from a whirl wind two-and-a-half-week Confirmation Visitation in the north of the Diocese, leaving Geraldton on the 30th July and retuning Monday 16th of August.

Travelling up the coast he celebrated Confirmation in Carnarvon on Sunday morning, 1st of August, together with Fr Steve Casey and the school community of St Mary’s Star of the Sea. Immediately following the Confirmation, he returned to Geraldton, with Fr Steve, to celebrate the Requiem Mass of Sr Evangelist Barrett PVBM early Monday morning, before once again heading back to Carnarvon.  

While in Carnarvon the Bishop looked over the parish as well as visited the graveside of Archdeacon John McKay, Parish Priest of Carnarvon from 1930 – 1939, before heading to Karratha on Wednesday the 4th of August.

The Parish Priest of Karratha, Fr Tai Trinh, together with Fr Savio Nguyen, were happy to see the Bishop to Karratha and had a busy schedule ready for him for the week.

Apart from a meal with the Indian community, a farewell morning tea at Dampier for a family returning to the Philippines, the Bishop also celebrated Mass for the Feast of Mary Mackillop on Friday with the school community of St Paul’s Primary. The Sacrament of Confirmation on Sunday the 8th and a Mass on Monday the 9th with both St Luke’s and St Paul school communities to celebrate 200th Anniversary of Catholic Education.

Fr Savio enjoyed too the opportunity to show off his new garden he was nurturing in the hope of winning the City of Karratha Gardening Competition. Quite an arduous job in a dry climate, but Fr Savio’s green fingers were working miracles in the hope of winning some of the $12,000 worth of cash prizes available to benefit the Parish funds.

With Confirmations completed in the north, Bishop Michael then moved across the top of the Pilbara to visit the South and Port Hedland parishes. While in South Hedland Bishop was able to view the, long needed, new carpark at the Church as well as look over the air -conditioning that is need of an upgrade. 

Both Parishes of Port and South Hedland are ministered (generously) by the Spiritans (Holy Ghost Fathers) and Bishop Michael had planned the opportunity, while in the north, to officially Install both Spiritans as Parish Priests in their respective parishes.  

Fr Edward Khaemba CSSp was Installed Parish Priest of Port Hedland at the Saturday Vigil on the 14th of August and Fr Gaspar Mushi CSSp as Installed Parish Priest of South Hedland the following morning at the 9.30am Mass.  Unfortunately, due to the current covid situation in the east, the Spiritan Congregational Leader Oceania, Fr Rogasian Msami CSSp, was unable to fly to Western Australia to be part of the celebration, but certainly attended in Spirit. 

Fr Gaspar hails from Tanzania but has been serving in Bray Park Parish in Queensland since 2014. He arrived in the South Hedland Parish in February 2021 as Fr January Mkude’s appointment was ending, but who agreed to stay on till April to help Fr Mushi settle into his new Parish. 

Fr Edward (Eddie), who recently celebrated becoming an Australian citizen, was born in Kenya. As a Seminarian student for the Spiritans he spent some time in the Diocese of Geraldton and Broome and therefore invited Bishop Saunders of the Broome Diocese to Ordain him in Kenya in 2011. 

As a Priest, Fr Eddie was sent by the Spiritans to Port Hedland in 2018 to assist with the Port Hedland Parish. Fr January Mkude CSSp, the Parish Priest of South Hedland, had generously been looking after both the Port and South Hedland Parishes as well as St Cecilia’s School for some time as Fr John Martin CSSr, the Parish Priest of the Port, had become ill and was away receiving treatment in Perth. Fr John passed away in 2018 shortly after Fr Eddie arrived.

Bishop Michael returned to Geraldton, on Sunday afternoon, inland through the Parishes of Tom Price, Newman where he stayed the night and touched base with Fr Tam Duong to see how he was settling in to his new Parish. He left early Monday through Meekatharra, Cue, Mt Magnet and Mullewa Parishes to be in Geraldton in time for his second Covid vaccination Tuesday morning and the burial of Sr Elizabeth Quirke PBVM at Utakarra Cemetery.

Carnarvon Parish Photos   Karratha Parish Photos   South Hedland Parish Photos   Port Hedland Photos