INTRODUCTION by FR JOEL PEART, ASSISTANT PRIEST
Friday, 8th July 2022
Dear brothers and sisters,
Greetings! It was with much joy that I received the news a few weeks back that I had been appointed assistant priest of St Catherine of Siena Parish here in Caroline Springs. I had heard it to be a community of great life and growth and so I feel privileged to be asked to assist Fr Richard with its care. Though having been here for only a few days, I have already experienced the real warmth and hospitality of the people here, but more importantly their prayerfulness and devotion. It gives me great joy to know that the Holy Spirit is alive and well in this place.
I am sure we will all get to know each other in time, but until then a little information about me:
One of six children, I grew up in Gladstone Park and attended Good Shepherd Primary School, before heading to St Bernard’s College in Essendon. Off to university, I completed a Bachelor of Business at RMIT and later on a Diploma in Education, which had me working both in industry and then as a school teacher at Penola Catholic College. I was constantly discerning my vocation during this time and after some months of prayer and direction I entered Corpus Christi College Seminary here in Melbourne, finally completing my studies in 2015. I was ordained a priest at St Patrick’s Cathedral in September of that year.
Archbishop Hart sent me to the parish of St Macartan’s in Mornington for my fist appointment as assistant priest, and then St Peter’s in Epping, before I was invited to be Administrator of the parish of Brunswick in March of 2019. In July 2020 I was bumped up to be the Parish Priest of St John’s in Heidelberg where I spent just on 2 years. All were wonderful and enriching experiences. My favourite saints seem to always be Jesuits, which is rather interesting: Francis Xavier, Edmund Campion, Isaac Jogues and Peter Claver to name a few. I think it’s because they had such an unshakeable faith in the power and efficacy of the sacraments. I have a real love of sports with golf being my favourite. I barrack for North Melbourne in the AFL and have a soft spot for Melbourne City in the A League. Living in the likes of Carlton and Brunswick for much of the past several years, I do have a love of coffee. So much so that it is my second favourite drink.
One thing I am much looking forward to here is working alongside our Parish Priest Father Richard Rosse. I have known him since our days in the seminary and I am honoured to call him not only a brother priest but a dear friend. I know he has a great love of God and with a real zeal for the mission of the church. Through the intercession of St Catherine of Siena, I pray that together all of us will continue to respond to the Holy Spirit and build a community of faith and love that will give glory to God now and in the years to come.
Faithfully in Christ,