Parish Focal Groups

CWL (Catholic Women’s League) 

Meets on the 3rd Friday of the Month, 10am at St Mary’s Parish Centre

The Catholic Women's League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga was founded in 1916 by a visionary group of young women who sought to change the world through prayer and action. Since then, members of the League have played a dynamic role on the local, national and international stage.  A big part of their agenda is addressing social justice and ethical questions. They seek to influence legislative and administrative bodies at all levels of government in order to preserve the dignity of the human person and also actively promotes a culture of life. CWL Victoria and Wagga Wagga is affiliated with the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisation.  It has representatives working at the highest level of international civic society expressing the tenets of the Catholic Church on all matters pertaining to the common good.

The Bairnsdale Branch has been active for over forty years in various roles.  In recent times its roles have included catering after funerals and conducting fundraising Luncheons.  The funds raised have supported East Timor, missions in Peru and Africa and local projects.

Pat Coloe 
Telephone: 5152 2039


Friends of Timor Leste   

Since 2003 the Bairnsdale Friends of Timor Leste have 

  • Provided nutritious lunches at St Antonio’s Secondary College, Baucau.
  • Subsidised the costs of English/Tetum Dictionaries for St Antonio’s Secondary College.
  • Paid school fees for students from poor families who attend St Antonio’s Secondary College.
  • Paid expenses for Salesian Youth Group, Baucau.
  • Fully supported fourteen and partially supported eighteen tertiary students, now graduated.
  • Fully supported three trainee teachers at the Marist Teachers College in Baucau.
  • Paid fees for fourteen students at Don Bosco Trade School in Dili.
  • Partially supported four tertiary students at Dili Institute 

Currently we are

  • Fully supporting four university students in Jogjakarta, Indonesia.
  • Supporting one tertiary student at Dili Institute.
  • Supporting four students attending Marist Teachers College in Baucau.
  • Providing nutritious lunches for students at St Antonio’s Secondary College, Baucau. 


Thirty men and women have made fifty-four visits to Baucau, staying as guests of the Salesian Community.

  • They have taught English and other subjects at St Antonio’s and at other schools.
  • They have provided vocational guidance for senior students and contributed to their welfare needs.
  • They have joined in extra-curricular activities strengthening the bonds between students, staff and volunteers.

Frank Brown Graham
Telephone: 5156 8844

Chris Power 
Telephone: 0418 148 657

St Vincent de Paul Society   

There are three categories of membership of the Society. Conference members are those who belong to the grassroots groups within the Society known as conferences. They live their Catholic faith in action through the spirit of Christian charity.  Associate members are those who are committed to the ethos, mission, aims and objects of the Society and who assist the work of the Society, but do not attend conference meetings.  Volunteer members are those who respect the ethos, mission, aims and objects of the Society and who volunteer in any of the Society’s works.

Conference                        Meets on the 4th Thursday of the month, 7pm at Parish Centre

St Vincent de Paul’s Assistance Centre is situated at Shop 15 Riviera Plaza. People are welcomed in a clean and secure place and are treated with respect and dignity.  No work of charity is foreign to conference members. They visit people in their homes, in the hospital, aged care facilities or wherever else people may be found needing aid or comfort.  Members also meet and pray together at others times.

Vinnies Conference offers a way for students to participate in the Society’s transformative work.  Mini Vinnies at St Mary’s School is a program designed for primary level students.  We encourage participating students to live their faith in a three-pronged way: ‘See’ (education and awareness). ‘Think’ (formation and reflection) and ‘Do’ (community service and fundraising).  Vinnies is looking forward to starting a Conference for secondary students at Nagle College. 

Bernard O’Kelly
Telephone: 5152 7171

Welfare Appointments
Telephone: 5152 6687

Vinnies Friends                Meets 10am the last Wednesday of the month at the Parish Centre 

Vinnies Friends are a group of volunteers who regularly visit people in our local community who are, for whatever reason, unable to enjoy normal social activities and would appreciate someone dropping in for a chat.  They try to provide company to those who are happy to be one of our Friends.

How do they organise these visits?  Prospective Friends are first approached by someone they know who asks if they would like Vinnies Visitors to call on them.  When approval is given, they telephone to arrange a suitable time for the visit. The initial visit is made by the person who originally received the confirmation to start calling, together with another member of the team.  All conversations during the visit are considered confidential.

Vinnies Friends call to see Friends in pairs.  There are no religious or social barriers.  Friends are simply people who would like a bit of company.

Perhaps you would like to learn more about what they do and who they are.  Then again, you may find yourself thinking of someone who would be an ideal candidate as a Friend.  If this is the case please give Pam a call on the above number.

Pam Winters
Telephone: 5152 3688

St Mary’s Op Shop   

St Mary’s Opportunity Shop is run by volunteers.  It is located next door to the Salvo Op Shop in MacLeod Street.  At St Mary’s Op Shop, everything you buy or donate inspires change in our local community.  It stocks a wide range of donated items including furniture, electrical goods, clothing, footwear, toys and books.

The profits are used to fund St Mary’s Church Restoration Project and local St Vincent de Paul Conference services and programs.


Telephone: 5152 2088

Piety Stall  

The Piety Stall is operated by volunteers.  It stocks a variety of greeting cards for all occasions, as well as a range of religious items such as rosary beads, medals, prayer cards, plaques, scapulars, crucifixes, jewellery and a small selection of books.  The small profit that the Piety Stall makes goes towards the upkeep of the Church.

The Piety Stall is located to the left of the foyer as you enter St Mary’s Church and is usually open after Mass.  All are welcome to come and browse.

Pattie Pruscino
Telephone: 5152 2942

St Anthony Procession                                 

The Italian Australian community in our parish celebrates the feast day St. Anthony of Padua on the Sunday of the Queen’s Birthday weekend.  Following Mass, the local town band leads the procession of the St Anthony statue along Main St to Service St and back to the church.  The celebration concludes with a luncheon in the Parish Centre.  It is a good time for all to reminisce, sing along with the accordion, and remember many of the songs of old.  Traditionally, such festivals were held in Italian towns celebrating the local patron saint and this celebration is a reminder of their Italian heritage and faith.

Bruno Capobianco
Telephone: 5152 2022 (H)