Welcome from the Parish Priest

Welcome to our website. We hope to share with you how we give witness to the Presence of Jesus among us.

St Patrick’s, Fremantle was established around 1850, the third Catholic Community in Western Australia after St Mary’s Cathedral Parish, Perth and the Benedictine community of New Norcia. Until 1894 the Parish was served by Diocesan and Benedictine Priests. Since 1894 the Parish has been entrusted to the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. It was their first foundation in Australia and they have now been responsible for its pastoral care for over 115 years.

Archaeological evidence from Perth and Albany suggests that the Noongar people have lived in the area for at least 45,000 years. The original people of the Fremantle area were the Noongar People.

During the shipping era, Fremantle welcomed thousands of new settlers to Australia. Being close to the shipping terminal, St Patrick’s was visited by new arrivals, thanking God for a safe journey and praying for their future in Australia.

The early parish community was mainly Irish. From 1940 the new arrivals included large numbers of Italians, Portuguese and Croatians who brought a new multiculturalism to the community with their religious festivals. Today our Parish Community is enriched by people of many cultural backgrounds. Their festivals are a highlight of the Faith celebrations in the Parish.

Fremantle seems to have the spirit of calling people back and the same can be said of the Parish. Each Sunday a large number of people in the congregation do not live in the territory of St Patrick’s but they claim either St Patrick’s or St Anne’s as their place of worship.  This can partly be explained by most of the neighbouring Parishs having once been a part of the original mission of St Patrick’s. One such area is North Fremantle.

Having  been cut off from St Patrick’s as an independent Parish, it has now been reunited with St Patrick’s Parish to form the Fremantle Catholic Community. The Church of St Anne’s is now the centre for the Croatian chaplaincy. However, there is a Parish Mass in St Anne’s at 8.15am on Sunday morning. Many people have a great loyalty to St Anne’s and want to celebrate Eucharist and important sacramental events of their lives there.

As you journey through our website we hope that you will share a little of how we go from our Sunday Eucharist ‘to love and serve the Lord.’

To learn more about the Oblates of Mary Imaculate, both internationally and in Australia, please visit www.omiworld.org, and www.oblates.com.au. To learn more about the Archdiocese, please go to www.perthcatholic.org.au.

Icon

The Spiral: The elongated spiral in the tapestry is a symbol for God the Father. The spiral evokes power, energy, creation, immensity, and “the still center of the turning world.”

The Holy Spirit: Out of the symbol for the Father comes the Holy Spirit, in bird-like shape. The Lord and Giver of Life enters through four natural elements: Air, Water, Fire and Earth. Air precedes the bird-like shape of the Spirit like waves. Water is on the left, fire is on the right, and earth surrounds the Celtic Cross.

The Celtic Cross: Christian legend has it that one day, St. Patrick was by the sea-shore discussing the nature of God with the Druids. They drew a circle in the sand, symbol of their Sun God, which Patrick understood very well from his days of captivity in Ireland. He then “baptised” their circular symbol by gently tracing the Cross of Christ into the circle. He was careful not to destroy their circle, but in a sense, fulfill it. The richness of colours evokes the splendour of the cosmic Christ and the hidden glory of his presence in the world. It also mediates themes of Transfiguration, Resurrection and Uncreated Light.

The Little Snail: It’s presence at the bottom of the Icon alerts us to the love of nature and respect for the sacramental beauty of God’s creation, which were strong and vibrant elements in the Celtic faith-vision. To remind us that the great transcendent God is also immanent in all creation, the great spiral at the top is echoed and counter-pointed at the bottom by the snail, macro to micro.

Parish Prayer

O God,

the creator and giver of all good things,
bless our Parish and Basilica of St Patrick
and the community that worships here.

Inspire us to work together to spread your love.

Strengthen our faith
and grant us the spirit of service
so that, with your grace
and the help of Mary Immaculate
and St. Eugene de Mazenod
we may glorify You,
provide for the needs
of our wider community
and make ourselves holy.

We ask You this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Our History

Our History

The St Patrick’s Fremantle was established around 1850, the third Catholic Community in Western Australia after St Mary’s Cathedral Parish Perth and the Benedictine community of New Norcia. Till 1894 the parish was served mainly by Diocesan Priests with the exception of the 1850s when it was served by a number of Benedictines who each came for a short time. Since 1894 the parish has been entrusted to the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. It was their first foundation in Australia and they have now been responsible for its pastoral care for 102 years.

During the shipping era Fremantle welcomed thousands of new settlers to Australia. Being close to the shipping terminal, St Patrick’s was visited by new arrivals thanking God for a safe journey and praying for their future in Australia. The early parish community was mainly Irish. From 1940 the new arrivals included large numbers of Italians, Portuguese and Croatians who brought a new multiculturalism to the community with their religious festivals.

Missionary Oblates Of Mary Immaculate
MISSIONARY OBLATES OF MARY IMMACULATE – bringing the Gospel to the Poor

Oblate Priests and Brothers give their lives to God by giving lifelong service to the human family. To become servants of the poor is to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, to build up His Kingdom.

Oblate Beginnings
In 1789 the Church in France suffered greatly as a consequence of the Revolution. Over 34,000 priests were either exiled or executed. More than half of the parishes were without priests to say Mass and administer the sacraments.

It was to answer this desolation of the Church that Eugene de Mazenod was called by Jesus to preach the Gospel. He became a Priest and began working among the poorest villages in the south of France. Soon other zealous priests joined him in his work. In 1816 de Mazenod established the group as a small religious community. In 1826 they were approved by the Pope and given the title Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

The pressing need for Priests in other parts of the world meant that very soon they were setting out to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth. They now number 5,500 Priests and Brothers and are serving God’s poor in 60 countries.

Australian Oblates
In 1894 the Oblates came to Australia from Ireland and established their first community in Fremantle. The Australian Province of the Oblates now covers also all the mainland Australian States and a Mission to China based in Hong Kong.
Oblate missionaries are working in eleven parishes in Australia; they are teaching in three boys’ colleges, and exercise a special ministry of outreach to youth. As well as organizing direct welfare assistance for the poor, they also provide university,  hospital and prison chaplains to help those who are faced with special difficulties.

In 1994 the MISSIONARY OBLATES of MARY IMMACULATE celebrated a century of ministry to the Church in Australia. Part of this celebration was the commissioning of the Fremantle Icon in the Basilica of St. Patrick .

Since the humble beginnings, the face of the Oblate Province has changed dramatically both in the diversity of its works and its personnel. Originally staffed by Irish and English Oblates, today their proud legacy is to be working with a majority of Australian Oblates who have been joined by Italian, French, Indonesian, Chinese ,Polish and Indian confreres.

Fom a parish and school in Western Australia, the Oblates today work in every mainland State, with a Seminary, a Provincial House, 11 parishes, 4 colleges and a youth mission to the poor of the streets based in Melbourne and a number of centres in Queensland.

In 1971 the Australian Province founded an overseas Mission in Java. In May 1993 it became the independent Oblate Province of Indonesia.  In 1990 the Province  took over responsibility for the China Mission which is based in Hong Kong. Members of the Province are also working in the Missions of Kenya and Zimbabwe.

Parish Priests

Fr. John Sebastian OMI Fr. Anthony Colbert OMI Fr. John Archbold OMI Fr. James Jeyachandran OMI Fr. David Shelton OMI Fr. Subash Fernando OMI
Parish Priest & Rector of the Basilica of St Patrick Fremantle Hospital Chaplain & Assistant Parish Priest Assistant Parish Priest Assistant Parish Priest Prison Chaplain

Vision Statement

We, the people of St. Patrick’s Parish, Fremantle aim to live a life in accordance with the Gospel and the teaching of our Holy Mother the Church in Union with Our Holy Father the Pope.

We commit  ourselves as a united Parish Family to celebrate the Sacramental Life of the Church.

We strive to develop and deepen our faith, or love for others and to achieve an increased sense of community care and concern for all people.

We work for justice and tolerance, protect the weak and provide for those in need.

We place our work under the special protection of Mary Immaculate, Patroness of the Oblate Congregation.