+ Fr Paul’s first thoughts – moving from OLOW


Dear friends – it’s with a feeling of deep sensitivity towards you that I’m letting you know of Bishop Vincent’s request for me to take up the ministry as parish priest of Greystanes. This move will require me to finish at Emu Plains on November 30 – and due to the size of Greystanes Parish will also require me to hand over my ministry at the Institute for Mission (IFM), Blacktown.

A heavy heart

I care about the bishop’s/diocese’s challenge to balance the ministry needs across the many parishes and priorities of the diocese – and try to always remember that I’m a priest of the diocese, not of my own ministries. But I can tell you that I felt  a lot of turmoil before agreeing to this request. It took more than a week of intense feelings, reflection, talking through and prayer before I went back to the bishop – a week of heavy hearted concern – for the current journey of the OLOW Parish community where I’m only coming up for two years – and for the team, vision and work of the IFM where I began seven years ago in late 2013.

And peace – Prayer for YOU

I’ve had a little time now to ask God to assist my trust and I give thanks that I’m feeling much more peaceful. I’m glad this wasn’t being announced the other week though because I didn’t feel the peace! Anyway, I can now say that you needn’t be sensitive towards me about the scenario ahead! Yes, I’m very distracted by what has to be done – but I’m fine. So, quite the reverse, it’s about my sensitivity to you and I want to do whatever I can in the month remaining to assist the transition. There’s lots to do to make that possible – and likewise lots to do at the IFM – but it’s under way and you have my sincere care, efforts and prayer for the well being of this community.

I’ll be working closely during these final weeks with our key parish ministry leader, Chrissy – and some members of the Parish Leadership Committees who’ve offered to step up and give extra assistance for a few critical current initiatives. I’m having my first catch up with Fr Michael Gitau on Monday – Michael has been asked by Bishop Vincent to be the Priest Administrator whilst discernment occurs between the Bishop/Parishioners/Diocese regarding future needs and options for OLOW parish. See those details in the bishop’s letter mentioned below.


Bishop Vincent has written a letter to the parish, outlining his reasons for the change. That letter is being read at each Mass this weekend and is available as a take-home paper copy at the church after each Mass. The link to the letter is below – or you’ll see that it’s also the immediate next post in the Parish Blog space:


Will chat more with you as we work through the coming weeks,

With friendship in God’s mission.



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Carmel Patterson
Carmel Patterson
6 months ago

Very sad news to be losing you as our parish priest. To me, it is like losing our link to the early days of Emu Plains parish. None of us know what is ahead of us. Our trust has to be with God. Thank you Fr Paul for all you have done for us here at Emu Plains. You will always be a special part of the history of this parish……Carmel Patterson.