Ministries & Groups
St Ignatius of Loyola said that love is shown more in deeds than in words. We are one community in faith and we have each been given talents. What is yours? Below are some of the ways people are involved in our parish:
Friday Night School
The Friday Night School, located in the Hall behind St Ignatius' Church, provides educational assistance beyond normal schooling for children and young adults who are from non-English speaking backgrounds. It particularly focuses on assisting refugees from Ethiopia, Sudan, East Timor, Vietnam, and other developing countries. Many students attending the Friday Night School live in the Richmond Public Housing Estate, however students also come from across Melbourne.
In addition to tuition, the Friday Night School provides:
- Financial assistance with text books to students in the program
- Computers to selected students and families
- An annual weekend camp and break up party
- An associated program which offers at-home tutoring from university students and young professionals on a Wednesday night
- Teaching to students' parents to acquire written and oral English skills
- Visits to students' families to help them read and interpret school reports and, where appropriate, to further assist the family in other ways
The Friday Night School also operates a fund which provides scholarships to selected students based on academic achievement and qualities of their character as shown in their determination, commitment to study and concern for others.
More information: fridaynightschool.org
Hospital and Home Visitation
An important pastoral work of the parish is to administer to the sick and dying within hospitals and psychiatric establishments within our parish. On any one day there are at least 150 Catholics who need the Sacrament of the Eucharist, pastoral care and/or the Last Rites. A dedicated group of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion takes Communion to patients on Sunday mornings.
We also regularly visit elderly, frail and sick parishioners and Communion is taken to them in their homes. We endeavour to keep in touch as they are very much a part of our parish community even though they may not be able to be present at the Eucharistic Celebration. If you know of any parishioners who are homebound and/or sick and would like to receive Communion at home, please contact the Parish Office so that we may visit these parishioners.
Daughters of Divine Zeal
The Daughters of Divine Zeal are an international Catholic organisation of women who offer service to the needs of the Church in various parts of the world. The Sisters run the Madre Nazarena Student’s House which provides female student accommodation for tertiary students. They are also involved with sacramental preparation of students at non-Catholic schools and preparation for adults seeking initiation into the Church. They also visit the sick at home and in hospital, coordinate funeral services, coordinate the sacristy at St Ignatius' Church and welcome various groups through prayer in their Chapel.
Faithful Companions of Jesus
The FcJ Sisters came to Australia in 1882 at the request of the Parish Priest in Richmond to conduct three local schools. They contribute immensely to parish life in Richmond and many people have benefited from their presence. The Sisters frequently visit the most vulnerable people in the Parish in their homes or in hospital, offer spiritual guidance, a shoulder to cry on, friendship and practical help in times of need. Their support to the Richmond Catholic Parish and to the Parish Priest is invaluable.
Polish Jesuit Chaplaincy
The Polish Jesuit Pastoral Centre operates from Clifton Street, Richmond and serves the Polish community at St Ignatius' in Richmond, Sacred Heart in Oakleigh; and the Polish Marian Shrine in Essendon.
See Mass Times for details of Polish language Masses at St Ignatius' Church.
More information: jezuici.org.au
Richmond Churches Food Centre
The Richmond Churches Food Centre is an initiative of the Catholic, Anglican and Uniting Churches. The centre, which operates at the back of St Ignatius' Church, is open each Monday and Friday and helps approximately 300 people. Weekly food parcels are distributed to people, living in the City of Yarra and at risk of low food security, upon presentation of their pension card or health care card. A Christmas Day Luncheon is held in St Ignatius' Hall each year where a special invitation is extended to the many lonely people in our area to join us on this wonderful day.
With the support of the City of Yarra, the local community, and such amazing volunteers, our churches work together on this outreach service to help shape the mission of the food centre so that it reflects the pastoral mission of the Richmond churches.
More information: richmondchurches.weebly.com
St Vincent de Paul Conference
About 100 years ago many people in Richmond were living in poverty, and it was with the help of the St Vincent de Paul Society that the parish tried to assist those struggling to survive. Since then, Richmond has had its own St Vincent de Paul Conference. The parish gives the Conference a place to meet and helps with the Christmas giving tree appeal. It donates an annual weekend Mass collection and keeps closely in touch with the Conference members who are predominantly parishioners.
Please contact the Parish Office for further information.
Serving at Mass
Our readers have an important role in the Liturgy of the Word as they share the Word of God from the Lectionary at Mass. The Vigil at 6:00pm on Saturday and the 9:30am Sunday Mass at St Ignatius' Church is in particular need of more readers.
Choirs have a role that is in service to the liturgy and that helps to foster a greater love for God among His people through the use of religious music and hymns. St Augustine once said "(One) who sings, prays twice". As members of the congregation, our choirs lead and encourage the faithful to express reverence for God through sung prayer.
St James' Church has a dedicated choir serving at the 11:00am Sunday Mass. They are currently seeking people to join their choir in any capacity from singing, playing an instrument or shaking the tambourine; all levels of talent are gladly accepted and welcome. Please contact Meg at St James' Church.
St Ignatius' Church is served by two choirs - the 9:30am Sunday Choir, and the vibrant Vietnamese Choir at the 5:30pm Sunday Mass. The 9:30am Choir currently has a particular need for additional male singers as tenors, baritones or basses - please see our organist, Nancy, after the 9:30am Sunday Mass. More liturgical musicians/singers for the Vigil at 6:00pm on Saturday would also be most appreciated.