St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Parish, Warnervale
We are a relatively new parish community – begun in 2003 – and as such, we are still developing a parish way of life that nourishes the lives and faith of people here on the Central Coast. Over that short time, land has been purchased, a Church and College have been built and a new Catholic community has begun to emerge and claim its own identity.
We are privileged to have St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Australia’s first saint, as our patron. Her vocation was to “never see a need without doing something about it.” The Parish enjoys a unique relationship with MacKillop Catholic College. We share a vision of becoming one communion of faith, united by the same mission, a common history and a desire to work together as one.
Our first Parish Priest was Fr Brian Moloney, then Fr John Hodgson, then Fr Vince Casey and now Fr Philip Thottam as Parish Administrator. Fr Carmelo Sciberras has often helped in the parish.
New people moving into the area are discovering the Parish as a place of prayer, welcome, inclusion and support. Many find in MacKillop College a wonderful campus for the education, faith development and care of their children. There is justifiable pride in what has been achieved in just a few years.
Our vision statement says that "We gather as a community of believers in Jesus, to grow as his disciples, using our gifts, to proclaim the Gospel". Each year the Parish Pastoral Council has developed a pastoral plan to help us realise this vision. Our current strategies are to build community, grow as disciples and to be responsible stewards.
Throughout the parish, more than 600 people attend Mass each Sunday and many of these are actively involved in ministry, either in social justice or outreach groups to the needy, in liturgy, running bible studies or faith formation activities, teaching in state schools as catechists, visiting the sick and elderly in nursing homes, working with children, sacramental teams and prayer groups, in maintenance, fundraising and administration - to mention but a few. We are indeed a parish in mission: young and old working together.
We pray that visitors find us to be a parish community of disciples, growing in and living the gospel of Jesus Christ. We pray, too, that as a community we will welcome visitors warmly into our community, enrich them spiritually, and help them to grow as a disciples.