Author Archives: Howard Ong

Vinnies CEO Sleepout

Friends and families, our sincere gratitude for your support and encouragement for our participation at the Vinnies’ #CeoSleepoutAu this year. It has truly been a blessed eye-opening experience. Aside from the experience of sleeping out on a hard cement floor through a cold winter night, what touch us most are the stories of the homeless people. These are hallowing stories of abuse, despair and lost of dignity. But they are also stories of courage and of the indominable human spirit. At the sleepout, we met and heard from Matt Vapor, who through his youth and formative years, suffered domestic violence, lost of dignity, hunger, physical and sexual violence. Matt managed to turn his life around, completed his university degrees; and is today a successful business leader. Matt is able to channel his past traumas in positive ways, advocating and supporting social causes such as homelessness, domestic violence, mental health and addiction. But Matt’s struggle is not over. He continues to suffer from the many after-effects of his traumatic childhood and severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Matt posed this question to us on the night: “When does homelessness end for a person?” It is a sobering thought.

The experience of the Sleepout helps us understand we cannot solve homelessness by simply putting a physical roof over someone’s head. It is a complex multi-facet issue. We were introduced to the work of Passages, a youth engagement hub supported by the Vinnes and the Rotary Club, where displaced young people can come, not be judged, but just be themselves. Whether it is to speak to a councilor or just do simple tasks like laundry; in Matt’s words, “just to exist”.

Thanks to all our supporters, our team has reached a donation total of over $51k, a figure that exceeds our expectation. But this is but a little step. Today, let us individually reflect on how blessed we are. And whatever differences we might have in our own families, our loved ones are a blessing in our lives. Finally, if you would still like to donate to our team, the donation portal will remain open for a short period. Go to https://rebrand.ly/ceosleepoutau

Blessings to you, our friends and families. Fr Thai, Fr CJ, Louis, Ken, Byron, Howard

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RCIA celebrates the life of Linda Lucy

RCIA had its last 2021 weeknight session on 14 Dec (Tue). As we look forward to the reopening of WA in 2022, this was a fitting close to two very challenging years at the RCIA. As well as being a pre-Christmas celebration, the occasion also served as a fitting celebration of the life of our former RCIA candidate, Linda Lucy Austen-Smith. Linda Lucy joined the RCIA in July 2019. She faced many challenges in her RCIA journey, brought about by her poor health and COVID disruption in Mar 2020. By April 2020, Easter came and went and we were not able to receive Linda Lucy and her fellow RCIA candidates into the Church. When restriction eased in June 2020, face-to-face RCIA was able to resume. Linda Lucy was finally received into the Church on 28 Jun 2020. Linda Lucy’s RCIA journey concluded in July 2020, the longest RCIA journey on record. From October 2020, Linda Lucy’s health took a bad turn and started deteriorating rapidly. She was called home to the Lord on 2 April 2021. In her last months, Linda Lucy was supported by John Paul Care and her RCIA family. She was very touched by the warmth shown to her by her new-found faith family. Her closest family members resides overseas and were not able to attend her funeral. The RCIA and other parish volunteers supported Elaine, Linda’s niece who resides in Perth, to give Linda Lucy a fitting send-off. Linda Lucy’s faith journey was truly a timely gift from God. RCIA will resume on 8 Feb 2022, please continue to keep us in your prayers, especially our new candidates Chal, Ethan, Eddy, James and Mike. From our family to yours – have a blessed Christmas!

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M4C at Cancer Council’s Relay For Life

Relay For Life is an annual 24-hour relay event run by Cancer Council to help raise vital funds for cancer research and programs. Cancer affects all of us, whether we are victims, survivors, or someone who lost a loved one. Within our families, our Church communities and beyond, cancer touches many.

Mission4Christ and friends has been participating in Relay For Life since 2019. Relay For Life West Coast 2021 was held at the Kings Park for the first time on 23-24 Oct 2021. This is the fourth time Mission4Christ is taking part. With the help of the parish community of Willetton, this year our team has raised over $2700. Over the 24-hour period, 23 Mission4Christ members and friends walked, run, laughed as we celebrate our common goal towards a cancer-free world.

St Peregrine, pray for us.

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My Faith My Freedom – Religious Freedom Forum

More than ever, our Parliaments are making laws that take away our religious freedom – euthanasia, abortion, sexuality, marriage, what we teach, who we hire, etc. Yet there are more than 1.6 million Christians who attend 13000 churches across our country every weekend.

To address these and related issues, our parish hosted a religious freedom forum on 18 Oct 2021. The event attracted some 150 attendees from the area, including many guests from outside our parish. It was an evening of inspiring talks, engaging conversations and a call to put our hope into actions.

Special thanks to our presenters Maryka Groenewald, James Parker and Steve Klomp; the support of Fr Thai Vu; and all our volunteers for making this a truly uplifting and memorable evening.

For more information on Religious Freedom issues and how we can put our hope in action, please contact ichthyscomm@gmail.com. God bless.

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M4C Food Missions

Mission4Christ was on a “Food Frenzy” over the past months. From Apr to Jul 2021, in spite of the uncertainty of COVID, M4C volunteers attended to the food needs of various groups across Perth.

  • On 6 Apr, a team of M4C volunteers donated and serve fruits to our friends of the street at the monthly BBQ organised by the Holy Spirit of Freedom.
  • On 13 Apr, M4C volunteers attended the Vinnies Warehouse at Canning Vale to pack food hampers.
  • Then on 16 Jul and 22 Jul, two separate teams of M4C volunteers helped at the Foodbank at Perth Airport. The first team packed a total 387 meat hampers on 16 Jul. Not to be outdone, the second team packed a total 554 meat hampers!

May God bless our organisers, volunteers and most importantly, the people we helped.

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M4C Volunteering at Good Sammy

On Thursday December 10, 2020, the youth from Mission4Christ assembled a team of passionate young people to volunteer at the Good Sammy warehouse in Canning Vale.

Good Sammy has 27 op shops across WA and strives to reduce waste by recycling 6 million kilograms of pre-loved goods every year.

Good Sammy also does an amazing job in expanding employment opportunities for people living with disability and helping them develop their skills. The Canning Vale warehouse has more than 120 employees living with disability that work in various roles.

We got to work alongside Good Sammy’s incredible employees, sifting through various donated goods. Our group was separated and stationed to different parts of the warehouse, sorting through clothes, jewellery, toys, electricals and homewares. It was an eye opening experience to see how much work was involved in just one day alone.

We would like to thank our generous volunteers and Good Sammy Canning Vale for hosting us and giving us the opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes.

Johanna Peres

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Pre-Christmas Celebrations

Our parish has been a hive of celebratory activities leading up the Christmas. Have a browse through the following photos to soak in the joy!

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Confirmation

On 21-22 Nov 2020, the children of our Parish received the Sacrament of Confirmation. The children were prepared very well by our Catechists and teachers from Orana. We are blessed to be able to celebrate this special Sacrament even as COVID-19 made 2020 a very challenging year. The children came back to Mass on the following weekend to give thanks for receiving this Sacrament and celebrated by receiving their certificates and cake.

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Triple Celebrations

About 50 parishioners gathering on the morning on 17 Nov 2020 (Tue) to mark a triple celebration: the 76th Birthday of Fr Greg and the 1st Ordination Anniversary of Fr Dominic and Fr Peter. The morning kicked off with a mass, concelebrated by Fr Greg, Fr Dominic, Fr Peter, Fr Thai and Fr Anthony. Thereafter, morning tea was served at the Parish Hall, with Fr Greg cutting his birthday cake.

We praise the Lord for the gift of the priesthood. May He always extend his guarding and guiding hand over our priests. Amen.

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Penance

On 29 Oct 2020, the children of our Parish received the Sacrament of Penance. They rejoiced in receiving Grace from God and were prepared very well by our Catechists and teachers from Orana, We were very fortunate to have six priests to listen to confessions. I would like to thank them for being present for this paraliturugy by our Catechists and teachers from Orana.

The children came back to Mass on the weekend to give thanks for receiving this Sacrament and celebrated with by receiving their certificate and cake.

Magdalene Heldt