The Australian Provincial, Fr Paul Cooney has announced that the Marist Fathers will be withdrawing from St Paul’s Parish, West Sunshine, Melbourne.
Fr Cooney made the announcement at all Masses on July 5th that the Marist would be leaving the parish on 6 January, 2010.
Subsequently, on August 5, Fr Cooney attended a meeting of the Parish Pastoral Council, together with the Parish Priest Fr Pius Jones, where Fr Cooney received a petition signed by around 900 parishoners asking that the Marists stay. Fr Cooney sought to explain again the reasons for the decision for the Society to leave. The sadness and disappointment of many was evident.
Also present at the meeting was Fr Greg Burke, parish priest of Hoppers Crossing and Acting Vicar for Archbishop Hart in the western area of the Melbourne Diocese. Fr Burke outlined the process for a diocesan priest to be chosen as a parish priest.