Your Parish team

  Fr Michael Willemsen

I am delighted to be back in East Gippsland, having lived on the Tambo at Swan Reach in 1986-7 and at the Bairnsdale presbytery during my 'pastoral year' with Fr Mahony in 1998.

I have happy memories from those years, even though they include a loss to Orbost in the 1987 Grand Final, when I was playing for Lakes Entrance FC. Another treasured memory is my ordination to diaconate at St Mary's in 2000. Bishop Coffey then ordained me a priest the following year in Sale.

After serving in the Parishes of Traralgon, Iona and Koo Wee Rup, 2016 marks my return to the diocese after six years on the staff at the seminary in Melbourne (, which was like being in an aquarium: a wonderful place, but it ain't the ocean!   

  Fr Darek Jablonski  

I am a 2017 addition to St. Mary’s/East Gippsland Mission. Being a city boy for 30 odd years, it’s time to not only take some time off in the country but also to live and serve in this “God’s own country”. Young people of the community are my focus, as they will eventually and hopefully be the leaders in the future and my dream for them is to be leaders. I am pleased to be supporting them at where they are in the present. Liturgy is very dear to me, as I believe, in just an hour or so, it reflects the life, style, health, engagement and many others of the local community. In one hour or so over the weekend, we may see at the liturgy (mainly Eucharist), how the community is all through the week. I also love to explore places, customs and other activities that are new to me. As I was born and raised in Poland (though ordained for Sale Diocese), I may have different approach to some things, though it’s not to offend anyone, but rather it is an invitation to a constructive feedback.

  Fr John O’Kelly PE 

Fr John is retired and lives in Bairnsdale. 

When able he assists throughout the Eastern Region of the Diocese.

Telephone: 5152 3106

Business Manager   

Martin White works from the Parish Centre in Nicholson Street and takes care of the finances of the whole parish and maintenance of all parish properties.

He is involved with keeping financial records up to date; the financial management of the restoration of the St Mary’s Church; with the hire of the Parish Centre; taking phone calls and attending many meetings. 

Telephone: 5152 2942/0401 242 341

Pastoral Coordinator 

Pattie Pruscino also works from the Parish Centre in Nicholson Street and coordinates the everyday life of the parish.  She deals with hall bookings, takes phone calls, home visits and assists with mid week purchases from the Piety Stall. 

She keeps in touch with the contacts in the outlying Mass centres; keeps the census (birth, marriages and death records) and noticeboards up to date; prepares the Sunday Bulletin and attends to any added ‘extras’ for the weekend Masses; follows up contact with sick parishioners; sends cards to bereaved families on behalf of the parish. She also does general office administration and deals with ‘lost souls’ who are looking for someone to talk to or have a cuppa with.

She is an ex officio member of the Parish Pastoral Council. 

Telephone: 5152 2942

  Sacramental Co-Ordinator

Michelle Grimsted works from the Parish Centre in Nicholson Street to support the community who wish to undertake the Sacraments of Initiation -  Baptism, First Reconciliation, First Communion and Confirmation. I aim to provide contemporary teaching approaches, built on the foundation of sound theology and strong Scriptural bases.   The opportunity to work in partnership with families, parish/non-parish based schools, and adults is such a privilege. I endeavour to build trusting respectful relationships to make a difference in people’s faith journey with God.

A warm invitation is extended to meet and discuss how I can support you, in growing in the knowledge of the fullness of life through the Sacraments, in Christ Jesus.

Telephone: 5152 2942    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.