The Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, directly challenges us as a parish to live as a community of love, not for ourselves, but for the world. So, who are we? We are the parish community formed around the Cathedral - the seat of the Archbishop Christopher, and the centre of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn - and the local church of St. Peter Chanel’s in Yarralumla. The Cathedral and Parish Community are administered by Fr. Varghese Vavolil, as acting Administrator, and the work of the parish is supported by Assistant Priest Fr. Peter L’Estrange S.J. Father Peter cares for the liturgical life of St. Peter Chanel’s. The Parish is further supported by the Parish Pastoral Council and the Parish Team.
In January 2014, His Holiness Pope Francis established a new Eparchy (Diocese) for the Syro-Malabar faithful in Australia-New Zealand: St. Thomas the Apostle, headquartered in Melbourne, with Fr. Francis appointed its first Vicar General and Finance Officer. Fr. Varghese Vavolil has been appointed acting Administrator of the St. Christopher’s Cathedral parish taking over from Fr. Francis.
As a parish, we are gathered together in Christ. Our mission is to evangelise - to give witness to the Good News of the Gospel by word and deed. Four of the basic elements of this mission may be described as: proclaiming the good news of God’s love throughout the world inviting more and more people into the community of disciples sanctifying by encouraging the whole community of faith to grow in holiness, especially as a worshipping community through intimate connectedness with the source and summit of the Christian Life, the Eucharist. transforming the world until justice, love and peace prevail. In our Parish, we participate in the mission of God and the church in a variety of ways This mission is overseen on behalf of the parish by the Parish Pastoral Council, who support and sustain the work of the clergy by their willingness to provide their skills, advice and ability to extend the apostolic life of the community they serve.
The vision of the whole parish of St. Christopher’s rests in the names of the names of its mass centres. Traditionally, St. Christopher was one who carried Christ, as did St. Peter Chanel, the Marist missionary and first martyr of Oceania, who was murdered on the island of Futuna in 1841. The dedication of both churches focuses us on the missionary task we have as a community of faith, and bind us to our call of making visible the healing and hope of the Gospel in our lives and in all that we do.