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 works from the Parish Centre in Nicholson Street 4 days a week and supports the priests, Paul, and Michelle in the everyday life of the parish. This includes phone calls, enquiries concerning sacraments, ensuring the bulletin is prepared, preparing a weekly parish email, people popping in with general questions or suggestions, keeping our data base up to date, check in with our outlying churches and keeping an ear to the ground for any problems or situations that may need more attention. Always happy for people to pop in for a chat and a cuppa.

I am a member of the Liturgy team and am an ex officio member of the Parish Pastoral Council. I am blessed to have been given this time to work so closely within the parish. God is good, God is good indeed.

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

  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.