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
Welcome Fr C.J. Millen (which stands for Carmine-John)
Fr C.J. Millen was born in Kalgoorlie and grew up in several country towns of Meekatharra, Newdegate & Brunswick Junction and Perth due to his father’s work as a primary school teacher and principal. Faith and family have been integral in his development, with weekend Masses and prayers essential along with spending time with family through his mum’s Italian heritage. He has three siblings that consists of an elder brother and sister who are both married with children and younger sister who is also married.
Following secondary graduation from St Norbert College Queens Park, which Fr C.J. Millen attended from Year 8, he completed a Diploma in Computer Engineering at TAFE and an Education Degree at Notre Dame and Edith Cowan University. At the same he worked in many jobs such as electronics, telecommunication, Kmart as supervisor, a swimming instructor, and various others jobs. Despite his success and experiences, deep down he felt something was missing, which led to his various callings to the priesthood. With the help and guidance of family, friends, priests, religious and laity, Fr C.J. Millen decided to test this calling to the priesthood, in which he attended St Charles Seminary in Guildford from 2008. During this time, he completed a Theology Degree at Notre Dame University in Fremantle.
In November 2013, Fr C.J. Millen was ordained a Deacon at South Perth. In March 2015, he was ordained a priest and have been appointed to several parishes within the Archdiocese of Perth that include Ballajura, Greenwood, Lockridge, St Mary’s Cathedral Perth and now St John and Paul Willetton.
Fr C.J. Millen looks forward to getting to know everyone, as we work together to continue to make St’s John and Paul Parish and Orana Primary School a great place for all.
Text supplied and adapted.
Just as in our homes we prepare for Christmas by doing some spring cleaning and decorate, our parish had a busy bee session on Saturday 11/12/2021. A crew of more than 20 volunteers arrived early in the morning to spruce up the gardens and polish up our parish inside and out to create a welcoming sight for parishioners and visitors alike. Thank you to all who took part for your efforts.
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!
Thank you to all youth and young adults who joined us 13 November 2021 Saturday night for our gathering. We had such a wonderful night full of fun, fellowship and food!
The youth groups in our parish cater to youth from 12/13 to 30 years old. If you are interested in joining one of our youth groups or you would like more information please contact email@example.com or 0432425001 so you can join our next session, we’d love to meet you.
Thank you for always supporting us!
Congratulations to all children from our parish that received their First Reconciliation Sacrament on Thursday 4 November 2021. The children prayed reverently while they waited to receive the Sacrament. We would like to thank all the Priests that were present. A big thank you to the teachers and Catechists for their help in preparing the children for this Sacrament. Let us pray for these children and families.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. God bless.
On 11-12 September 2021 at our Parish, Father Thai confirmed 75 candidates. The children spend the year preparing themselves leading up to their Sacrament of Confirmation. The Sacrament program involves the children attending a retreat, a Commitment Mass, workshop with their parents reflecting what they are learning and they complete their lessons in class. The teachers from Orana and the Catechists from our Parish work very hard with the children to prepare and rehearse with them. We are very proud that they have all achieved this milestone. Please pray for these children and their families that they continue on their faith journey.
22 couples from the parish of Ss John and Paul celebrated their milestone wedding anniversaries at a special Mass on 15 Aug 2021. They included couples who reached significant anniversaries last year but were unable to have a special celebration because of Covid restrictions. Together the couples chalked up an impressive 823 years of married life. Among them is a young couple who celebrated their first wedding anniversary last year, and are expecting their first child very soon, and a very blessed senior couple who marked 65 years of marriage.
Text supplied by Su Goh.