St Mary’s Primary School

St Mary’s Primary School is proud of its rich heritage.  It is a welcoming community of students, families and staff.  Together we are inspired by the Scriptures and traditions of the Catholic faith to educate and develop the whole person within an environment that offers opportunity for respect, justice and success.  In partnership we strive to develop active, enthusiastic and successful learners, who are resilient, believe in themselves and show witness to the presence of God through their relationships with others

St Mary’s School Board 

The School Board meets monthly. The role of the Board is to give advice and support to the Principal and Parish Priest in areas of policy, administration and financial management.  It comprises the Parish Priest, Principal, teacher representative and parent representatives. It oversees any committees or working parties that may have been assigned particular tasks.

Nagle College                                                               

Nagle College is a vibrant Catholic co-educational learning community comprising students in Years 7 to 12. Inspired by the life of Christ, our heritage from the Presentation and Salesian Charism, Nagle College is a Catholic Community that welcomes, builds strong relationships, evangelises and prepares young people for life. All members of the community are encouraged to live out the College motto ‘Let your light shine’.

Nagle College Advisory Council                                   

The College operates under the governance of the Dicese of Sale Catholic Education Limited (DOSCEL). The Principal leads and manages the College. The College Advisory Committee assists with the fostering the College's involvement with the local and parish communities.

The Committee is composed of a Chairperson, each Parish Priest of the region or their nominee, the Principal, a nominee of the Director of Catholic Education of the Diocese of Sale, and elected members from the community and parent representatives.

Elections of representatives are held annually. The term of office for each parent member is three years. The Committee meets monthly during the school year.


St Mary’s Primary School  Principal: Ms Lisa Parwata Telephone: 5152 3706 
St Mary’s School Advisory Board    Chairperson: Mr Stephen Gibbons     Telephone: 0407 562 226

St. Mary's parents and Friends

Jane Natty

Telephone: 5152 3706
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Nagle College  Principal: Mr Neville Powles Telephone: 5152 6122
Nagle College Advisory Board Chairperson: Mrs Samantha Bishop  

Little Angels Playgroup   

St Mary's Little Angels Playgroup has been running for over 40 years thanks to the parents and carers who volunteer to open and set up each session. 

There are two sessions a week:

  • Tuesday 10:00 am -12:00 pm
  • Friday 10:00 am -12:00 pm

Each family is kindly asked to contribute $2 per session to cover expenses such as morning tea, toys and craft activities.

Thank you to St Mary’s Parish for supporting our Playgroup, allowing us to use the Parish Hall and covering our overhead and insurance costs. 

To keep playgroup running smoothly we ask all families to please:

  • Help set up/pack up equipment and clean-up afterwards when possible (stack chairs, sweep floor, pack cupboard etc)
  • Write the names of adults and children present in the log book
  • Keep the bikes off the carpet
  • Encourage children to eat at the tables provided
  • Enter from the rear entrance (via Subway/McDonalds Carpark) 

You are welcome to set up any equipment or activities that are in the Playgroup cupboard and encourage interaction with the children.

There is tea and coffee making facilities and we only ask that you tidy up, clean and pack away what you use.

For any other information or questions please contact:

  • Kristen Dwyer 0423451018
  • Loretta Van Den Einden 0407585110

or search 'Little Angels Playgroup Bairnsdale' on Facebook.

Adult spirituality and Faith Formation

Advent and Lenten Small Groups

These groups meet in Advent as a preparation for Christmas and during Lent as preparation Easter. These seasons are a special times in our Christian journey.  They are a time of prayer, good works, sacrifice and penance.   We are all invited to put aside a little time to get to know the Readings of these seasons through Small Groups.

Michelle Grimsted
Telephone: 5152 2942


During the past twenty years we have been very fortunate to have benefited from many Guest Speakers in our region.  However due to the availability of a diminishing pool of ‘expert’ speakers and the increasing costs of bringing them to our Parish we have to look at new ways of presenting Adult Faith Formation. 

We found eConference – Thanks to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and the Broken Bay Diocese for the opportunity to join many others throughout Australia and beyond via the internet.

These eConferences are advertised in the Sunday Bulletin, School Newsletters and the parish website.

Chris Power
Telephone: 0418 148 657

CLC (Christian Life Community)      

Meet each Tuesday, 2.30pm at Margaret Sheehan’s home

The Christian Life Community (CLC) way of life invites us to encounter God in all various aspects of our everyday life, reflect on these experience, become more aware of God's activity in these experience, and respond in ever more authentic ways to God's desire within our induvidual lives and our communal lives.

CLC enables us to commit ourselves

  • To bring the freeing power of Christ to our social reality. 
  • To find Christ in all our varied cultures and to let His grace illuminate all that needs transformation.
  • To live as true disciples so as to bring Him to every aspect of our daily life in the world. 


  • is a lay international Catholic organisation
    is a world community lived out in small local communities
  • has a common way of life based on the SPIRITUAL EXERCISES OF ST IGNATIUS
    has members from all walks of life
    helps members to respond more fully to God
    helps us find God in our experience 
  • helps us to integrate our faith and life
    helps us to make decisions for more effective action
  • CLC is a group that shares insights of where God is active in our life. It is not a discussion group.

Tuesday Prayer Group

Meet each Tuesday, 7.30pm at Pattie Pruscino’s home

This Group started as a CLC Group but after twelve month of discernment decided to continue with no official connection to CLC.  Participants still follow the same process of discernment as CLC and Ignatius Spirituality.   

The Tuesday Prayer Group and CLC meet to celebrate the Feast of St Ignatius and share Guest Speakers. 

Pattie Pruscino
Telephone: 5152 2942

Charismatic Prayer Group           

Meet each Monday, 7.30pm at St Mary’s Parish Centre

Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) is a spiritual movement within the Catholic Church.  It emphasises the availability of the power and the many gifts of the Holy Spirit in the life of every believer, and the need for a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ in order to live life to the fullest.

CCR aims:

  • To bring people to Christ
  • To be a channel of grace for all who come
  • To help people grow in holiness
  • To help people to yield to the action of the Holy Spirit in their own lives, and in the service of others
  • To give praise to God in all things.

The prayer meeting is characterised by expressive joyful praise, openness to the spiritual gifts including prophecy and healing, and an expectancy that God will speak and work in power within the meeting. Music is an important element, helping to lift the hearts of those present. There are also talks, testimonies and prayer, and prayer ministry is always available.

We see ourselves as an integral part of church life, interceding for the needs of the world, the Church, parish and home. Prayer for healing is always available for those who ask and we have often been asked by members of the wider church community to pray for those in need.

In order to meet the above aims, Charismatic Renewal offer various short courses designed to build faith relationships, focusing on the goodness of God, encouraging people to both welcome and use the gifts of God and to resist untruth in their lives. These are very strongly Scripture-based courses and those who have attended them often state that their lives have been enriched and that Scripture has “come alive” for them. These also help people to understand the teachings of the Church and invite those who attend to balance their faith lives with prayer, study, fellowship, and service.

CCR has its international office in Rome, and consists of thousands of local prayer groups and communities, as well as special ministries and services, in almost every country around the world.

Leo & Maureen Saunders
Telephone: 5152 2344

Spiritual Director                                          

Spiritual direction is “help given by one Christian to another which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship.” (William A. Barry and William J. Connolly, The Practice of Spiritual Direction)

  • Spiritual direction focuses on religious experience. It is concerned with a person’s actual experience of a relationship with God.
  • Spiritual direction is about a relationship. The religious experience is not isolated, nor does it consist of extraordinary events. It is what happens in an ongoing relationship between the person and God. Most often this is a relationship that is experienced in prayer.
  • Spiritual direction is a relationship that is going somewhere. God is leading the person to deeper faith and more generous service. The spiritual director asks not just “what is happening?” but “what is moving forward?”
  • The real spiritual director is God. God touches the human heart directly. The human spiritual director does not “direct” in the sense of giving advice and solving problems. Rather, the director helps a person respond to God’s invitation to a deeper relationship. 


Geraldine Naismith (Campion Outreach) Appointments: Diocese of Sale Emmus Spirituality Team

Geraldine is a psychologist in private practice within the Gippsland area.  Geraldine trained as a Spiritual Director and a giver of the Spiritual Exercises through the Arrupe program.  Her desire is to bring prayer days, retreats, and the Spiritual Exercises to all within country and regional Victoria.  She is married with five adult children and grandchildren. She presently works in rural areas with the Outreach team within the Sale Diocese.



Inter-church Pastoral Care Group          

This Group meets three times a year to share fellowship over lunch and listen to a guest speaker.

Jo De Boer                                          
Telephone: 5153 0423


The Catholic and Anglican communities meet on the 1st Sunday of the month for morning tea at the local shop.

Care of those with special needs

Loss and Grief Care                    Meets 1st Thursday of the month, 5pm at St. Mary Parish Centre 

Have you experienced any of the following?

  • Death of a loved one
  • A miscarriage
  • A loved one's serious illness
  • Divorce or relationship breakup
  • Loss of safety after a traumatic incident
  • Loss of good health
  • Loss of a job
  • Retirement

Grieving is a highly individual experience and there is no right or wrong way to grieve.  How you grieve depends on many things, including your personality and coping style, your life experience, your faith and how significat the loss was to you.  Grieving inevitably takes time.  Healing happens gradually - it cannot be found or hurried and there is no "normal" timetable or formulae for grieving.  Some people start to feel betterin weeks or months.  For others the process may take years.  If grief is prolonged it is advisable that you seek professional helf from a Psychologist or Counsellor.

Whatever your grief experience, it is important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.

  • Trying to ignore your pain or keep it from surfacing will only make it worse in the long run.
  • Feeling sad, frightened or lonely is a very normal reaction to loss.
  • You do not need to protect family or friends by putting on a brave front.
  • Crying does not mean you are weak.  It is normal and healthy.

Catholic Aboriginal Ministry

The Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Melbourne grew from a dream – a dream of belonging, of identity, of ownership and of the unity of Aboriginal people. They share the dreams in prayer, faith and love.

This Ministry’s vision is: - to be perceived as an Aboriginal Community recognised for its commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples having their rightful place in the Church and the wider community.

Inspired by the Gospel, we are committed to the dignity of each person to open hospitality, to truth-telling about dispossession and to be a place of connection.

We work for reconciliation in partnership with those who believe that there can be an alternative to the present order.

Judy Anne Alexander 
Telephone: 5152 2422