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 Avinash 150 Fr. Avinash George

I am extremely happy to be the assistant priest in St. Mary’s Parish as this is my first appointment after my ordination.

I came to Australia in 2012 and started my seminary training in Corpus Christi seminary, Melbourne. I was appointed, as part of my seminary formation, in St. Agatha’s parish, Cranbourne for six months to gain pastoral experience and one year in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sale for the diaconate ministry. I was ordained a priest in Kerala, India on 5th of January 2019.

I look forward to contribute towards the pastoral and sacramental needs of St. Mary’s Parish in the time ahead.

Paul Heaton-Harris 

Paul comes to the position of Parish Business Manager with extensive experience in small business and corporate business management across a number of sectors. His responsibilities in the Parish are the overall financial and facilities management including, obligations for working with children and vulnerable adults, occupational health and safety and protection of Parish assets. He brings a focus on “people” to his position.

Paul can be contacted directly on: 0418 377 076

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.