How we got here

The journey to where we are today began when, in 1980, the Carmelite Fathers of the Carmelite Retreat Centre at Mount Carmel, expressed their willingness, on request from Bishop Murray, to become more involved in pastoral ministry to the people of the rapidly growing area of Macarthur. The parish incorporated the areas of St Andrews, Raby and Bow Bowing. On 11th May 1980, Bishop Murray established our parish under the patronage of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and the task of working together with the first Parish Priest, Father Albert Mc Keogh, to build a truly Christian community, began. Father Albert was assisted by Sister Patricia Lawless SGS who operated from a room in the Mt Carmel Retreat Centre.

The celebration of Mass began in St Andrews Primary School Hall and, to promote the devotion to our Lady, through the family rosary, the statue of Our Lady was taken from home to home each week, a practice which continues to this day, with the assistance of the Legion of Mary.

By 1990, the parish had grown to 800 Catholic families; catechists taught 700 Catholic children at the two local state schools; Renewal of Faith groups, Catholic Enquiry Groups (now RCIA) and other Adult education groups were meeting regularly to journey in faith together. The Parish Pastoral Committee was active in many ways laying plans for a Parish Church.

Carmelite parish prayer is a central focus of our parish life- Carmelite prayer has a contemplative dimension to it, inspired by the writings of Carmelite saints Teresa and St John of the Cross. So when, in 2001, our parish was blessed by a visit of the relics of St Teresa, we witnessed a hugely successful pilgrimage: by successful we mean that people rediscovered Therese’s message of trust in a loving God and experienced a renewal of faith.