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Chaplain: Fr. Stephen Kumyangi
St Bakhita Pastoral Council
Chaplain: Fr. Stephen Kumyangi
Chair person: Joseph Wani Yanga
Secretary: Mary Kenyi
Treasurer: Helda Mathew
Mass Times: (Mass temporarily suspended due to COVID-19)
First Sunday monthly at 11:00am
St John Fisher’s Church, 17 Messines Ridge Road, Tarragindi
1998 – The Centre for Multicultural Pastoral Care, then under the Archdiocese of Brisbane’s Church Life and Mission (later became Faith & Life, now known as Evangelisation Brisbane) prepared to receive five Sudanese families who have been living in Malta for two years. CMPC sponsored these refugee families at the request of the Monsignor Philip Calleja, (Archdiocese of Malta) and Father John Murphy (Director of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office). It was during this year when CMPC requested local parishes to form Community Refugee Settlement Scheme (CRSS) Groups through the then Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA). Parishes and communities that responded to assist included Rosalie, Pine Rivers, Upper Mt. Gravatt, Cannon Hill, Red Hill, Annerley and Kedron, Petrie, Salisbury, Nambour, Hervey Bay, Caloundra, Bracken Ridge, Cannon Hill, Beenleigh, Kedron, Wilston and the Italian Catholic Federation of Aspley/Geebung/Wooloowin. These parish CRSS groups coordinated by CMPC received training and resources from Immigration Department [then known as Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA)] and the Australian Red Cross.
1999 – The St Bakhita Catholic congregation was established. (Pastoral Council and congregation worked together with very little resources to conduct evangelisation and catechetical activities in the community.
2000 – Fr Keith Turnbull celebrated monthly Mass and provided spiritual direction at the Little King’s Movement compound in Buranda.
2001 – Sr Onira Massote SSPS (working as CMPC cross cultural Pastoral Minister ministering to Portuguese-speaking) started pastoral ministry with the Sudanese community. This includes home visits, bible sharing, assistance with access to financial and material support, assistance with some domestic violence cases, etc.
2003 – The Catholic Group and the Sudanese Christian Fellowship (various Christian Churches) have alternate gatherings twice a month. They also occupy a space in the CMPC Hall to conduct meetings. Bishop John Gerry attended a Service for the Fellowship and also celebrated Christmas Mass for the Catholic Group at Sacred Heart, Rosalie.
2003 – Scalabrinian Fr Mauro Conte CS, Chaplain of Italian Catholic Community Northside, (one of CRSS groups welcoming newly arrived families) began celebrating Mass for the Sudanese on the fourth Sunday of each month at 3pm at Mary Immaculate Church in Annerley. Fr Mauro also presided at special celebrations such as Feast of St Bakhita, Lent and Christmas. [Mass was held twice a month from 2008]. In 2005, Archbishop Bathersby appointed Fr Mauro Conte cs as part-time Chaplain of the Sudanese Catholic community.
2009 – When Fr Mauro was incardinated into the Archdiocese and concluded his term as part-time Chaplain to the community, Holy Spirit Sister Onira Massote assisted in organising a roster of priests for the community’s monthly Sunday Mass. Among the roster of priests were Fr John Pagnin CS (Chaplain of the Italian Community), Fr Dany Akiki (Chaplain of the Lebanese Maronites), Fr Hector Zuniga CS (Chaplain of the Latin American Community), Fr Albert Chan MSC (Chaplain of the Chinese Community), Bishop Joseph Oudeman, Fr Epati Tamati (Chaplain of the Samoan Community). Sr My Vu fdcc (formerly with African Catholics, Logan) provided pastoral ministry and assisted Sr Onira from 2009 – 2011). Sr Eufemia Lacerda (Pastoral Minister with Timor Leste Community) also assisted in 2011.
2016 – Fr Stephen Kumyangi – arrived in Australia from Sudan in January 2016 and appointed Chaplain in March 2016. Fr Stephen is also Associate Priest at St Bernard’s Upper Mt Gravatt.
For a quick guide on general culture visit SBS Cultural Atlas.