Inclusiveness                    Hospitality                   Service                   Mission

  Mary Mother of the Church

Catholic Parish Ivanhoe

Parish Pastoral Council (from 14 July 2019)

1st Row: Eugene Ballao, Kasia Bator (Secretary), Teresa Bui, Clare Bellio, Isma Chiera, Lucy Dal Pozzo.
2nd Row: Christ Dixon, (Fr) Bill Edebohls, Robert Erbacher, Pat Kelly, Sue Moorhen (Chairperson), Marcus Mapolitano.
3rd Row: Wenni Van Lint.

Note: The new Parish Pastoral Council Constitution specifies that PPC members other than the Parish Priest should normally serve no more than three two-year terms of office.
Parish Pastoral Council Report to Parish
Friday 7 February 2020
Our Parish Pastoral Council held its 1st meeting for the year on 29th January. Highlights of the meeting are published HERE

Parish Pastoral Council - Report from meeting of 17th July 2019
This was the first meeting of the new PPC after the recent elections.

Appointment of Officers:
Fr. Bill has announced the following appointments:
Chairperson of the PPC: Sue Moorehen
Secretary of the PPC: Kasia Bator

Parish Groups / Portfolios
Written reports were received from the following parish groups / portfolios: Choir (Isma Chiera), Communication (John Costa), Ecumenical & Inter-Faith (Merle Gilbo), Parish Facilities (Lucy Dal Pozzo), Korean Community (Chris Dixon), Liturgy Group (Merle Gilbo), Maintenance (Pia Boutsakis), Outreach (Eileen Mount & Sue Kelly), MI School (Veronica Antrim), SB School (Kathy Lowe), Yarra Deanery (Merle Gilbo). We hope to have these reports and photos of our new PPC on our parish website sometime over the next two weeks.

Patronal Festival
Mary Immaculate Church will celebrate its Patronal Festival on Monday 9th December with Mass at 7.30pm followed by a BBQ. This year we will be joined by the South Sudanese Catholic Choir and Liturgical Dancers and the Mass will be sung in Arabic. Save the date in your diary!

Parish Redevelopment Milestone
Our Project Manager, Pat Kelly, brought us up to date with progress so far. Recent activities have revolved around the refinement of the design of the buildings and the preparation of the planning drawings and consultants reports required by Banyule City Council for our planning permit. Preparation for the planning permit has involved not only working with our architects but with consultants for town planning, traffic management, arborists, landscaping and sustainability. We reached something of a milestone in that we were able to submit all our documentation to Banyule Council last Tuesday. We must now wait patiently for a response from the Council. You can see the latest plans for our redevelopment at the back of each church.

Office Transition Committee
A sub-committee of the PPC and Parish Finance Committee is now planning for the transition of our parish office to both a temporary home in the foyer of MOG church during the redevelopment of the MI site and its eventual relocation to our new parish centre.

St. Bernadette’s Convent Project
We are currently investigating a joint project with the St. Vincent de Paul Society for the restoration and use of the Old Convent at St. Bernadette’s for transitional accommodation for asylum seekers.


Previous Pastoral Leadership Team / Parish pastoral Council

Parish Pastoral Council   Highlights from Meeting on Wednesday 25 October 2017
1: Child Safe Training     Several Parish leaders have attended the Archdiocesan program of child safe training focussing on ensuring a culture of child safety in all our parishes. We have appointed two Parish Child Safety Officers: Clare Bellio and Lucy Dal Pozzo who may be contacted if anyone has concerns or issues to raise with regard to child abuse or child safety within the Parish.
2: Parish Census & Thanksgiving Renewal    At all Masses over the weekends of Nov 18/19; 25/26 and Dec 2/3 parishioners will have the opportunity to update our parish census details and renew (or begin) their participation in our Thanksgiving Program.
3: Parish Redevelopment Project     We have been advised that Alison Alexander, the daughter of one of the architects of Mary Immaculate Church, has submitted a heritage nomination for the Church to Heritage Victoria. This means that our redevelopment of the Mary Immaculate site is on hold until Heritage Victoria make a final determination and we know how that will effect our plans for our new Parish Centre. The Archdiocese and our current architects are assisting with contingency plans and options for various possible outcomes of the heritage nomination.   Heritage Victoria's Recommendation report will be advertised on 17th November and during the following 60 days will be publicly available for download Here.   During this 60-day period, owners and anyone with an interest in the place may submit a comment to the Heritage Council regarding the Executive Director's Recommendation.
4: Parish Leadership Team (PLT)
We have adopted a new PLT model so that the overall Parish Leadership Team includes three bodies: the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC),  the Parish Finance Committee (PFC), and eventually a new Parish Education Board (PEB). We have also adopted a new constitution for the PPC for trial use in 2018 with a view to full implementation in 2019. Copies of the new Constitution will be available for anyone who is interested as soon as it receives final corrections.
The archived text below is pre- 29 October 2016
Description of Pastoral Leadership Team (below)
Some past PLT Meeting Report Summaries (below)

The Pastoral Leadership Team Model

The consultative and collaborative model  for Catholic Parish leadership in Ivanhoe has evolved through the progressive and innovative approach of our existing and earlier Parish Priests together with many supportive parishioners. It has emerged out of absolute need, faced by the alternative of serious Parish decline if left alone. The result so far has been encouraging.



The Parish Leadership Team (PLT) has  a dual role, firstly to manage the ongoing administrative affairs of the Parish, but even more importantly, in close consultation with  Ivanhoe Catholics to guide and plan for the future of our Catholic community within this Parish. This is done with our underlying Parish values very much in mind - Inclusiveness, Hospitality, Mission and Service. The PLT is itself made up of representatives of the Parish, Parish Groups and Schools, and operates very openly.

The PLT role is challenging in the very rapidly changing world and church environment. Changes impact substantially on things such as availability of Priests, numbers of parishioners, age profile, declining income, rising expenses, and at the same time on recognition of our need to better serve all those in our midst, with new emphasis on young people and young families, who are potentially the future of our Church. 



Change has been a hallmark of the Church throughout history, and at the same time an instrument of growth and development. Given the opportunity that change brings to our Parish right now the Leadership Team is challenged to help develop a loving and serving community that builds on the new energy and signs of new life that are becoming  evident amidst the necessity of sometimes uncomfortable change. The challenge is to remain humanly focused whilst also being aware of and responsive to the reality of change. It is a responsibility to survive. It is tapping into new opportunities, including many offered by new technology, through such means as multimedia, and interactive websites that reflect the life and vibrancy of our community. It is intended that interactivity and feedback will become hallmarks of the Parish Leadership Group for community life in the Parish and into the future.

There are many operational details that could be included here, but suffice it to say that the PLT actively supports the many parish Groups that are the life and blood of this Parish. They in turn are represented on this Leadership Team and there is also a General Parishioner Position to act on behalf of that constituency.

Your Views and Participation? 

Your views and participation are always welcomed and  you may contact the Parish Leadership Team at:  or via the General Parishioner representative or the Parish Office.


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PLT Meeting Summaries

Brief notes on PLT Meeting on 26 November 2014

  • The gathering of material for the Christmas edition of the parish newsletter.
  • The formulation of a mission statement in view of the recent survey.
  • The outcome of the recent annual review of the website - its ongoing content and operation affirmed.
  • A budget for the next year and the ongoing possibility of dealing with necessary maintenance issues.
  • First Eucharist for the 26 catechist children, bringing to an end the sacramental programme for 2104.  
  • The Mass of Thanksgiving for the children of our three schools celebrating the end of their year of ‘Daring to Dream’.

Brief notes on PLT Meeting on 23 July 2014

  • At this stage 94 parish surveys returned with majority submitted on line with equal representation from parish and school communities. Further consultation to occur with those who expressed interest. Results will be analysed and presented as soon as possible.
  • Outreach Film Afternoon was well attended. Thanks given to Pat and Sue Kelly, Eugene Ballao and John Costa for curtains made and replaced in Mary Immaculate Hall. Good response so far for outing on 24 September.
  • Ongoing liturgy planning with parish and schools concerning forthcoming celebrations of First Eucharist. Discussion and input preparing Prayers of the Faithful is meaningful and beneficial for those present.
  • Younger parishioners acknowledged as participants in weekend Masses as readers, taking the Offertory Gifts, altar servers and training for Multi Media; as well as recent participation in music liturgies. 
  • Ongoing discussion with Archdiocesan agencies re-future use of Ford Street property

Brief notes on PLT Meeting on 28 May 2014

  • The cold night did not prevent a good and representative group from attending the parish general meeting on Tuesday 29 April and the clear thinking and open mindedness was encouraging. The next step will be the circulation of a comprehensive survey.
  • Finances are ‘on track’ helped very substantially by the input of many volunteers.
  • The ceremonies of Holy Week were given real life by a great collaborative effort. The coincidence of school holidays meant many families were away.
  • Catechist group enrolments: 25 for Reconciliation which will be celebrated Saturday 6 September at Mary Immaculate and 27 for First Eucharist which will be celebrated on Sunday 23 November at Mother of God.
  • The Communication Group is able to again offer an E conference.

Brief notes on PLT Meeting on 26 March 2014

  • The Executive presented the current status of the Strategic review.
  • Items of ongoing interest on the website, in order of popularity are: News, Prayers of the Faithful, Mass details, newsletters and weekly reflections. 
  • Feedback on the Family Synod Survey.
  • Statistics, required annually by the Archdiocese - Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Funerals and Marriages. 
  • The Outreach Group’s ongoing awareness of our older parishioners - monthly cards/lunch, film afternoons and bus trips when there are enough takers or when a bus of a suitable size is available. 
  • Feedback from the Liturgy Group relating to co-operation with the schools at every opportunity and planning for a full and inclusive celebration of Holy Week and Easter.

Brief notes on PLT Meeting on 23 October 2013
• Pastoral duties at the Heidelberg medical precinct are continuing to increase.
• Finance Group is preparing to draft budget for 2014, including prioritizing maintenance needs across all properties.
• The presentation of the Gospel of St. John (courtesy of the Broken Bay Institute) was well attended and much appreciated.
• We welcomed two representatives from the Korean community.
• A sub-group has undertaken to develop a revised policy for our web site.
• The catechist group is preparing for First Eucharist on Sunday 24 November at Mother of God Church.

Brief notes on PLT Meeting on 28 August 2013
•    Feedback and/or contributions to the reflections in the weekly parish newsletter are always appreciated.
•    There were the highest number of ‘hits’ ever on our website at the time of Fr. John’s death and funeral.
•    The compilation of his life was much appreciated, both here and in Ireland.
•    Fr. Thang recommended a book by Fr. Timothy Radcliffe O.P.   The title: Why Go To Church?
•    When the Outreach Group accumulates a little ‘cash’, it donates it to a worthy cause. Recently to Mental Illness Fellowship.
•    The Finance/Maintenance Group is working towards a planned maintenance programme. 

Brief notes on PLT Meeting on 24 July 2013:   

  • The co-operation of many people made Fr. John’s vigil service and funeral a fitting tribute to a much loved man.
  • Many members of the Korean community, including Fr. Youn and Fr. Dominic, the first priest who served the community here, joined us in farewelling Fr. John.    
  • It was decided that it would be a good thing to explain how the money collected in the second collection - for the priests - is actually distributed.
  • Each community is glad to welcome and encourage the recently confirmed children - as readers and the   children preparing for First Eucharist to carry the gifts.
  • The Finance Group will soon be able to give one of their regular updates.
  • The MI school choir was honoured to be asked to sing at a recent citizenship ceremony - singing the National Anthem and ‘I am Australian’. 

Brief notes from the PLT Meeting on  26 June   2013

  • The end of Term 2 has been a very busy time for our three schools with parent / student interviews and enrolling new students, many of whom are Preps for 2014. Even more so at Mother of God School, with preparations for the 50th Anniversary in full swing.
  • The conferring of the Sacrament of Confirmation at St. Patrick’s on 26th May was significant for the children and a great example of working together of the schools with the wider parish community.
  • Further maintenance work at the Convent - including attention to guttering and downpipes - has made it even more suitable for use by ARAFEMI.
  • We acknowledged the service of a number of parishioners who regularly take Holy Communion to people at home or in care, assuring them they do belong to our parish and noted that we must be on the alert for   others who might need to be looked after also.
  • Music to enhance our Sunday celebrations is made possible by ‘live music’ and the use of multimedia. The input needed to ensure this happens was acknowledged.
  • Catechist children begin preparation for First Reconciliation Term 3; followed by First Eucharist Term 4.
  • As has become the routine, the Finance group is preparing to report to the parish soon.


Brief notes from the PLT Meeting on  22 May   2013

  • All three schools reported good enrolments for next year and that the children are enjoying a wide range of activities.  
  • Very important among these are the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation and ongoing preparation for First Eucharist for our three parish schools early in Term 3 (Catechist students Term 4).  
  • Our parish was very well represented at the presentation by Sherry Anne Wendell which we hosted on behalf of the Archbishop’s Office for Evangelization.
  • The Easter bulletin was well received and it is proposed to issue another one in November/December.
  • ARAFEMI has formally begun its lease of the convent.
  • Fr. Thang re-affirmed his gratitude for the way we had celebrated his special birthday.
  • The Outreach Group continues to arrange well attended, suitable events. They even make small profits and recently were able to give a donation to the Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria. ( MIFV)
  • Applications to join the Pastoral Leadership Team are in the weekly newsletter.
  • It’s time to update the key register. Ways are being considered to make the availability of keys as efficient as possible.


Brief notes from the PLT Meeting on 20 March 2013 


  • Our three schools all reported very good and active starts to the year with satisfactory enrolments for 2013 and promises of the same for 2014. Mother of God is celebrating their Golden Jubilee with a range of events and they would welcome any memorabilia you may have stored away. Mother of God School 9497 1094
  • The editing and printing of the Easter Bulletin had been completed and arrangements were discussed for its distribution.
  • The future of the Convent was the subject of an open meeting on 6th March. Several local residents and parishioners took the opportunity to hear what ARAFEMI had in mind and how the necessary modifications are being carried out.
  • Children in the schools and in the Catechist group will begin their intensive preparation for Confirmation when Term 2 begins. They will receive that sacrament on 26th May at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
  • The Liturgy Group has been specially taken up with plans for the living of Lent and the days of the Easter Triduum. As always, it is very much an ‘all of parish’ activity, with very special attention to involving the children and the families in our schools.
  • We noted several opportunities to take part in inter-church & interfaith activities. For example, McKinney lectures in Lent, shared meal on Holy Thursday and forums offered by the Banyule Interfaith Network. 



Brief notes from the PLT Meeting on 20 September 2012

  •  An E-conference will be televised in Mary Immaculate Hall on Wednesday, 10th October - the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of Vatican 2. A most significant occasion.
  • The Religious Education Co-ordinators from the three schools will again meet with the Liturgy Group in preparation for Advent and Christmas.
  • ·Mother of God and Mary Immaculate Schools will have fairs in November. Help from parishioners will be very much appreciated.
  • It is hoped to have a ‘family friendly’ social event in the first part of 2013.
  • The Maintenance and Finance Groups are continuing to assess what needs must be met and determining what is affordable.


Brief notes from the PLT meeting of 20 June 2012:

  • Negotiations are proceeding over the future of the Convent at St. Bernadette’s.
  • All three schools reported good enrolments for 2013 - some siblings and some new families.
  • Several members of the PLT and some other parishioners joined the Korean community for Mass and lunch to celebrate the Incardination of Fr. Youn into the Archdiocese of Melbourne.
  • Outreach continues to host the monthly ‘lunch and cards’ and has arranged ‘Christmas in July at the Cuckoo restaurant on the 11th July.
  • Full participation by children and their families, supported by teachers and catechists, and the ad hoc parish choir made the ceremony at the Cathedral on 3rd June most memorable.
  • In Terms 3 and 4, children in the schools will be preparing for First Eucharist and in the catechist group will be preparing for their First Reconciliation.
  • Painting and electrical works, approved by the Finance group, are proceeding


Brief summary from the PLT Meeting of 23 May 2012:

  • Outreach Group continues to host monthly ‘lunch and cards’ gatherings, held an enjoyable film afternoon and reports a ‘full bus’ for the trip to Williamstown.   
  • Co-operation from many people resulted in whole-hearted celebrations of the days of the Easter Triduum.
  • Sixty young people will be confirmed on 3rd June including 20 from the Catechist group. Ruth Villani’s skill and dedication was applauded.  
  • The Finance / Maintenance Group has approved some electrical and painting work across the parish.
  • Fr. Joseph Youn has been incardinated into the Archdiocese of Melbourne. (There is a Mass of Incardination for Fr Youn at 11am, Sunday 10th June at St Bernadette’s Church)
  • Work on the Ford St. Development is going ahead in all the areas needed, e.g.  arranging of loans, council permissions, consideration of management of units.
  • John Costa was thanked for his week by week management of our website and his help in all matters relating to Multimedia. 


Brief Summary from PLT Meeting 29 February 2012:

  • Enrolments have been constant for the Catechist children who attend schools other than parish schools: Confirmation will take place in Term 2 with the Parish schools, whereas Reconciliation will take place in Term 3 & Eucharist in Term 4. Parish schools will celebrate Reconciliation Term 1 and Eucharist Term 3.
  • A letter was received from Br. Mark O’Loughlin with thanks for the years he and his community had occupied the ‘old’ convent at St Bernadette’s.  
  • Finance Committee offered a report which will be presented to the parish towards the end of the month.
  • We are looking forward to Fr. Gerry O’Collins’ lecture on 15th March at Mother of God Church.
  • The arrangements with the Playgroup have been confirmed and the Playgroup Co-ordinator congratulated on the  success of this venture
  • Current Ecumenical activities include the World Day of Prayer at MI on the 2nd March and planning for the Annual Maundy Thursday Meal on Holy Thursday at the Uniting Church Community Centre.

Brief summary of Pastoral Leadership Team meeting,  Wednesday 30 November 2011

  • The official Installation of Fr. Thang as Parish Priest was a memorable event - with wonderful participation from all parts of the parish.
  • The Parish Secretary will have some leave during January so publication of the newsletter will be limited.
  • Our schools all reported a satisfactory outcome of the building programmes and are looking forward to the use of their new facilities.
  • Outreach Group has continued to offer entertainment and hospitality through monthly lunch and games, lunches out, bus trips, fund raisers for Ryder Cheshire.  More helpers would be welcome. 
  • The Finance Committee is currently working on the 2012 budget. 
  • 14 catechist children are preparing for their First Reconciliation to be celebrated on 3 December
  • The Liturgy Group reported on: the Installation Mass, preparations for the celebration of Advent and Christmas, End of Year Mass for the three schools and looking for ways to involve our young parishioners in Sunday Masses. The group will take a break too - no multimedia for a few weeks.
  • The meeting affirmed the many people who contribute to the life of the parish - in so many different ways.


Brief summary of Pastoral Leadership Team meeting, Wednesday 3 August 2011

  • Fr Thang was congratulated on his appointment as Parish Priest and promised the prayers and support of the whole Pastoral Leadership Group.
  • Children in our schools and in the catechist group will receive their First Holy Communion in the next few weeks.
  • The buildings at our three schools are approaching completion
  • The Ford St. development site has been cleared and made secure.
  • Parish finances are currently a little more stable, due in part to the fact that we are not at present employing a Pastoral Associate and have reduced our part-time youth leaders from four to two.  The Finance Group is preparing an overview report for parishioners.
  • The number of visits to the website is continuing to increase.
  • A vote of thanks to Karen and Paul McEvey after the recent successful dinner dance was unanimously passed. An agenda item for the next meeting on 14th September will be ‘What do we do next year?’

Brief summary of Parish Leadership Team meeting , Wednesday 22 June 2011

  • In recognising the contributions of long-standing parish volunteers on retirement and parishioners on major birthdays a unified Parish process is being introduced to ensure awareness and acknowledgement of such milestones across the Parish.
  • After five years of very successful operation the Parish Youth Group is suddenly diminishing as our young people are becoming increasingly otherwise engaged, and its future is in question. A small core group of our youth want the group to continue. The PLT remains very supportive of parish youth.
  • Multimedia now uniformly provided across our parish has for the first time enabled shared Easter liturgies across the Parish and is now facilitating simultaneous introduction of the New Mass Liturgy.
  • As costs continually rise and income drops Parish finances are of growing concern. Until the Ford St development comes on stream the Parish needs to further contain costs and defer expenditure. The Leadership Team is consequently considering various fund-raising initiatives and towards that end a member of the team has generously offered a substantial prize towards a possible Raffle.
  • Recognising that Parish services are so freely provided to so many people the Leadership Team is also sensitively but realistically considering some possible form of a 'user-pay' approach to help cover rising costs.
  • Working Bees save the Parish a great deal of money and volunteers have been thanked.
  • In response to the recent "Frank Cahill Review" a sub-group has been established to follow up on ways to improve Parish leadership Team effectiveness, and consequently ways in which the Parish operates.

Brief Summary of PLT Meeting, Thursday 10 February 2011

The first Pastoral Leadership Team (PLT)  meeting for 2011 held last night at St Bernadette's Primary School was also the best attended in a long while. Fr Thang was welcomed to his first PLT meeting as was new member Brian Hoban (replacing Greg Lange who very sadly passed away recently). Parish Secretary Ruth Villani was also appreciatively welcomed and will invaluably record Minutes of meetings and ensure follow up. Other members agreed to stay on, as did the existing Executive. Chris Dixon agreed to remain as Chairperson. Fr Youn Marie Joseph also attended with other representatives of the Korean Catholic Community.

Reports from our Primary Schools were all upbeat.  Reports from all of the Parish Groups reinforced that Parish activity is very much alive, and one might say thriving. However the finance report brought a sobering reminder of the Parish's precarious financial position. This was tempered with the good news that the Ford Street Development building permit had been approved, paving the way for a future new income stream. Money, however is not (or should not be) at the heart of a good parish. Another significant difference between this and previous PLT meetings was its deliberately greater focus on 'core' Catholic Parish issues, including the new Mass liturgy to be introduced during this year. There has been some adverse comment on elements of the new Liturgy and we will all shortly have the opportunity, and be strongly encouraged, to learn what it will really mean for us all.

Brief Summary of Parish Leadership Team Meeting, Monday 3 May 2010

The major issue discussed tonight was Parish Finances. Following the trend of well over 25 years the financial position of the Parish continues to decline at a concerning rate. Rising costs together with ever decreasing thanksgiving offerings and parishioner numbers now result in an even worse position than anticipated, despite many new and successful Parish initiatives, innovations and plans.

Various financial options are available and are being explored, but none of these by themselves appear likely to reverse the overall decline which is currently evident in other parishes also. An immediate response is further spending cut-backs, the first of which will unfortunately be the proposed new multimedia facility at St Bernadette's, which has now been put on hold.

The great irony of all of this is that Parish activity is actually on a high, with many new initiatives being introduced and valued by a wider range of people, but unfortunately with a diminishing number of paying parishioners. As the PLT now focuses further on this issue there are ironically at the same time many positive developments. Some of these and other discussed items include:

  • School communities are very strong. New buildings are well advanced or completed
  • School enrolments for next year are at capacity levels
  • Perhaps need for a stronger, more inviting and welcoming sense of "parish community"?
  • Stronger linkages between our Primary Schools and Parish to be explored
  • Our new Pastoral Associate (Amanda) is strengthening pastoral support and associated initiatives (also including the Funeral Ministry amongst much else)
  • There are 71 Confirmation candidates being prepared by the RECs and Pastoral Associate
  • Confirmation candidates will be invited to join the Parish Young Peoples' Group at a Youth Mass and following youth group event  on June 6th
  • A new part-time Youth Leader has been appointed to extend our youth activities
  • Multimedia is bringing new life to our liturgies
  • Multimedia funded by the Outreach Group is also enabling many more successful social activities for people of all age-groups
  • Outreach activities have engaged many people and been very much valued
  • The Parish website and Newsleter are greatly improving communication across the Parish
  • There was a 25% overall growth in Website usage over the last twelve months
  • There was a 79% increase in website visits to Easter Liturgy information compared to last year
  • Website visits have always shown interest in Parish News but now as well  now show a trend towards greater interest in Spiritual and Liturgy matters, and Outreach.
  • All Parish Ministries are very active (despite limited volunteers)
  • Controversial new Catholic Missal out this year. The Pope has urged "sensitivity" in its introduction
  • The "Year of Priests" will end June 11 with anticipated statements on acknowledgements and renewals
  • Mary MacKillop to be Canonized on 17 October
  • Discussion continued on retirement celebrations for Fr Len on 20 June
  • The Parish to celebrate its 70th year later this year (October?)
  • After years of work by Nina McPherson and others "A Brief History of the Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe" to be formally launched at the Parish Dinner-dance on July 24
  • The "A Brief Parish History" highlights how strongly people have put their whole heart and soul into building and supporting our Parish over its entire history. Are we going to let them all down and give up now?

Brief Summary of Parish Leadership Team meeting,  Monday 1 February 2010

As no new member nominations were received from within the Parish existing members were declared continuing members. Chris Dixon was appointed new PLT Chairperson and Pat Kelly warmly thanked for his excellent past chairpersonship.

Much discussion followed on the strong likelihood of a reduced number of priests in our Parish from this year, and other significant changes, most likely requiring greater dependence on retired priests and greater involvement by lay people.

On the positive side work was proceeding well on Stage 1 of the Parish Master Plan and excellent progress is being made on enhancements to our three Primary schools. To assist its future development the Parish now has the best financial model it has ever had, although until Phase 1 of the Master Plan comes into effect income is still declining and building repairs are urgently required.

The executive reported that following recent uncertainty it was now confirmed that the Korean community would remain at St Bernadette's.

The Liturgy Group continues its pivotal role within this Catholic community and amongst many other things is presently engaged on preparation for Lent and Easter.

The Outreach Group has been eminently successful in activities and fund-raising. Some of its overworked members are tiring however and need volunteers as they reduce involvement, but have planned various activities for the year ahead using their financed and already successful multimedia facilities.

Parish communication has improved with rapidly growing Website use, weekly email updates to parishioners requesting these, and "multimedia liturgy" in Masses, hopefully soon to be extended also to St Bernadette's if volunteers there are confirmed.

The Parish Young Peoples Group is thriving and at last now includes a parent member on its committee. If new youth leaders are confirmed it plans to split into "younger" and "older" youth groups. 

Brief summary of Parish Leadership Team Meeting, Monday 30 November
This evening's PLT meeting focussed more on pastoral than administrative and financial issues. The Bishop's Ivanhoe visit was discussed (feedback from the Bishop is anticipated shortly). The outstanding program of activities by the Outreach Group was discussed, but also the fact that due to work overload their program for 2010 will be reduced unless new volunteers are forthcoming. The same applies to the possibility of another parish  dinner next year, to be further considered if new volunteers can be found. Liturgy and favourable use of multimedia was discussed. No multimedia in St Bernadette's yet due to lack of volunteers to regularly operate a system there.  Youth affairs were discussed, on one hand strong interest in our existing youth members, but apparent lack of response from Year 6 students this year from MOG and MI Schools. On the admin. side there is good progress on concept plan for stage 1 of the Parish Master Plan. Excellent progress with Parish financial modelling, with Pastoral modelling also being pursued. Important discussion also on declining availability of priests and Ivanhoe impacts.


Brief summary of PLT meeting on Tuesday 6 June 2009

Milestone for the Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe

At the Parish Leadership Team meeting tonight and after a long period of deliberation, consultation, discussion and exhaustive analysis the decision was unanimously made to proceed with Stage one of the Parish Master Plan, that is the development of ten independent units and community building on the current Tennis Court site at St Bernadette’s.

Commenting on this Landmark decision PLT Chair Pat Kelly said “This unanimous decision tonight is a milestone in advancing towards the future Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe. The financial benefit derived from this project will enable us to draw our community closer together and provide greater confidence as we progress to the future against the challenges ahead. Most importantly it will nourish and help ensure the continuing development of Christian Faith for people of all ages in the new Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe”.

Other significant outcomes tonight (here).


Brief summary of PLT meeting on Tuesday 14 April 2009

  • New members Greg Lange, Nestor Mendes and Lucy Del Pozzo (unable to be present)  were welcomed.
  • The existing Executive was re-appointed by the meeting together with new member Paul McEvey, and one other person will be invited to join the Exec.
  • Suggested means for improved communication between Schools and Parish were discussed and will be further discussed directly between the PLT and the Principals.
  • Easter celebrations and attendances by parishioners and visitors have been particularly good.
  • There is a current prospect of some support from a Pastoral Associate.
  • Another initiative involving young people is being considered arising out of the overwhelming response to a young person's recent funeral in the Parish.
  • Following Last Year's discussions on the role of Parish in changing times with Fr Frank O'Loughlan (see earlier website News item) a follow up-discussion between Fr Frank and the PLT will take place on 27 April.
  • Discussion followed on the successful and currently pending applications for grants by each of our schools. The opportunities for the grants arise from a Federal Government initiative. These will significantly enhance opportunities within and around our school communities.
  • The Outreach Group outlined its forthcoming programme (which will be published on their Website page). It included a Queenscliff bus trip on 21 May and a Police and Pipe band concert late in August
  • The outstanding success of the Parish Dinner Dance was acknowledged and the PLT thanked its organisers led by Pam Benton
  • The Master Plan was discussed and details given of current work on the Business Plan for phase 1 of the Plan
  • A decision will be made on Stage 1 of the Master plan based on the outcome of the Business Plan
  • It was made thoroughly clear that approval of the Master Plan would initially involve stage 1 only and that any decisions on subsequent stages would be made at later dates in the light of circumstances prevailing at that time and supported by Business Plans.
  • Supported by successful Parish fund-raising (thanks to Pat Jones and the Outreach Group) the Communication Group has purchased a Parish video-projector and screen and is currently studying full Parish Multi-Media requirements and costs for each Church. This was initially driven by the Young Peoples' Group need for video-projection together with Liturgy Group desire for such a facility.


Parish Master Plan Update - Easter 2009

Extract of letter from PLT Chair Part Kelly, Thursday 9 April 2009

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The implementation of the Master Plan will be considered at the April meeting of the PLT.  In preparation for the meeting the Executive has developed a number of policy positions and undertaken the following actions....(more).


Master Plan Parish meeting on 12 March - brief summary

Thursday 12 March 2009 (8 - 9 pm)

Prior to the Opening Prayer Fr John said that his approach to  facilitating Parish development,  as he had been asked to pursue by the Archbishop eleven years ago, had been and would continue to be to allow parishioners to drive the process of change because the Church in Ivanhoe is  very much its parishioners. Buildings and facilities serve a purpose but what comes first is faith in the words of Jesus, remembrance of his being and words through the Eucharist, and sharing all this as a unified community to better serve each other and the world, in ways that also accommodate young people. He also spoke of the enormous contribution within and outside the Parish by Fr Len, particularly in the area of mental health. In conclusion Fr John said that he has utmost faith that one way or another this open process of parishioner dialogue will bring about the changes that are necessary and that while decisions need to be made all views, however different, are equally important.

Chris Dixon spoke of the process for selecting an architect to draft the master Plan and the brief provided to the selected architect.

In the absence of the architect who unexpectedly didn't arrive at the meeting Geoff Crawford summarised the plan and compared phase one of the plan, the proposed housing development on St Bernadette's Tennis Courts, with other similar developments. @font-face { font-family: "PMingLiU"; }@font-face { font-family: "@PMingLiU"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }Decisions on subsequent phases can be made progressively over time as we discover more about our circumstances as well as taking into account parishioners views and concerns. Whilst we now have a plan and a potential start there is no commitment to its future details at this stage, and as such there will be ongoing reviews, considerations and analysis.

Questions and discussion canvassed a range of issues. In conclusion Pat Kelly said that whilst we, like the Archdiocese,  don't yet have all the answers there is no option to do nothing and that we must embark in good faith on a journey of change. Whilst the first stage of the development is least contentious, in terms of the single Parish Centre there is no certainty about the future or even the boundaries of the Parish, and especially of  the certainty of priestly tenure in future. He was currently preparing a letter to the Archdiocese seeking advice on these issues since they will impact decisions on subsequent phases of the draft Master Plan. Pat reiterated that Parish is shared faith and community rather than buildings or facilities. Further inputs will be welcomed from Parishioners until 20 March after which some initial decisions will have to be made taking into account all of the very many views that have been expressed.

Draft Parish Facilities Master Plan summary available

At Masses on the weekend  of 20-21 December 2008 Parish Leadership Team executives introduced the Draft Parish Facilities Master Plan and provided copies of a summary. This will be followed by a consultative process in the new year.

In introducing the Draft, PLT Chairperson Pat Kelly and fellow exec Geoff Crawford said that whatever the eventual outcome there is simply no option to do nothing. The draft plan has been discussed with the Archdiocese which responded encouragingly. The Heidellberg  Council has so far responded similarly.

This summary  document may be downloaded here. The separate cover page (in colour) includes an architects visual impression of part of the development. This larger electronic file (takes a little longer to download) may be downloaded here.

Members of the PLT have full copies of the draft and would be pleased to show them to anyone and to discuss viewpoints.

Public comments to the Parish Leadership Team (PLT) are invited  and welcomed at any time via the "Your Views" section of the website, or if you prefer privately to the PLT, or both.


Parish Leadership Team meeting outcomes, Thursday 29 January 2009

Extract from brief notes of Parish Leadership Team meeting, Thursday 29 January 2009, 8:00 pm

Due to the sweltering heat in the non air-conditioned Parish Office the meeting was shortened, however some key outcomes emerged, the first of which follows:

Responses so far to Draft Master Plan

  • Whilst there have been as many varied responses to the plan now as ever before there at least appears this time to be a sense that the Parish needs to move on and implement some changes whilst at the same time detail the feasibility of other proposed changes.
  • There also appears to be recognition that much good hard work has gone into the plan and that this work will be continuing.
  • Recognising that some people have been away on holidays, the PLT agreed to again promote the Plan and seek further comments until 1 March. For those who may not wish to write but prefer to express views personally, one further public meeting will be held to accept further feedback from parishioners.
  • Following all of these interactions, the Parish Leadership Team will make recommendations and decide on a course of action which will probably be implemented in stages over time.

This and other items from this meeting are included in a one page summary here


Parish Leadership Team meeting outcomes, Wednesday 10 December 2008

The Executive introduced and distributed copies of the Draft Parish Facilities Master Plan. The draft will be introduced by executive members at Parish Masses on the weekend of 29-21 December and a summary report on the draft will be distributed at those Masses and also made available via the Website. Everyone is invited to share their views on the Draft via the "Your Views" page of this Website or by contacting the Paris Leadership Team. Each PLT member has a copy of the full report and will be pleased to show these to anyone and discuss the Draft. A consultation process will begin in the new year.

Parish Leadership Team meeting outcomes, Monday 10 November 2008


Parish General:
  • Ongoing focus across the Deanery (Parishes of Ivanhoe, Heidelberg, Bulleen, Templestowe, Doncaster & Donvale) on youth and young adults – listening to, involving, gathering to share.
  • As WYD08 follow-up, working with others across the Deanery on a Youth Mass “Yarra Youth Dreaming – The Future of the Church in the hands of Youth Today” at St Clements Bulleen, 2:00pm on Sunday 20th November, with activities/snacks afterwards. Being planned by a harmonious mix of young and some older people.
  • As a new initiative emerging from the above working with others right across the Deanery on developing a Young Adults Group.
  • Our Parish Young peoples’ Group are helping plan the special 5:00pm Mass a MI on Sunday 7th December. This will precede the final YPG event for 2008.
  • A coincident BYO Parish Christmas get-together at MI on Sunday 7th December at 6:00pm.

Parish Future and Survey:

  • Executive working closely with our architects to plan a creative future for our Parish, recognising both its history and signs of the times.
  • Strategic Planning survey responses being analysed and soon to be reported on. Over 280 responses will greatly help us plan the future Parish.


  • Working on liturgies that really touch people and give life, hope and welcome, whilst challenging and empowering people to see the great potential in our Parish.
  • Thursday morning Liturgy planning meetings are being helpfully and enthusiastically assisted by periodic visits from our Year 6 students.
  • Over Advent one of our 4 Parish values will be highlighted each Sunday.


  • Parish Maintenance Group now includes Korean community representative and working through a big “Wish List” of things to do.
  • Some of the activities include roof repairs (Church & Presbytery), HWS replacement, plumbing work, sound system work.
  • Recent Working Bee well supported


  • Finance committee has put more discipline into this area via budgeting for each group, periodic reporting against budget, and expenditure approval process.
  • Letters will be sent to parishioners inviting review of contributions where they haven’t changed for some time, and encouraging thanksgiving via direct credit.


  • Parish Website receiving growing number of visitors, some from overseas, and as a result of the Parish Survey a growing number of ‘subscribers’.
  • Aim is to have all online parishioners as website subscribers.
  • 100% of Young Peoples’ Group members are online – works very well.
  • Communication Group “Online Parish” is active across and beyond the Parish.
  • Plan to communicate with Ivanhoe Catholics not participating in the Parish.


  • It’s a challenge to involve more and younger parishioners in parish ministry for Baptism, Funerals, Outreach, Finance, the Sick and Elderly.
  • Recent Maldon and earlier bus trips very successful.


  • Recent “Wellbeing” launch has resulted in reasonable number of volunteer offers. Others are always welcome.

School Community:

  • Need to (re)define what Catholic Schools and schooling are really all about.
  • School enrolments for 2009 are very good.
  • MI School to re-work Mission Statement in 2009 and re-introduce multi-lingual classing.
  • MI Website now includes link to Parish Website which some family members also periodically access from overseas.
  • Students recently raised $1200 for charity.
  • MOG building programme funded by grant and won’t impost on Parish finances.
  • MOG School have School Fete Saturday and an active programme of Masses.

Korean Community:

  • Work will continue on developing stronger links with the Korean community (extending beyond PLT to youth, Finance, Outreach, Communication, Finance etc).
  • Fr  Maria Joseph of the Korean community will be going on leave shortly and supported in his absence from St B’s by Fr Dominic together with Fr John.
  • Old convent chapel converted into a catechesis youth room.
  • Fund-raising Bazaar very successful and also supported by Ivanhoe parishioners.

Note: These are informal notes only for information purposes and not Minutes of the meeting. The next PLT meeting will be on Wednesday 10th December

Parish Leadership Team Meeting, Monday 1 September 2008

A summary report (not Minutes) may be downloaded here

The next PLT meeting will be on November 10th. Note that as the PLT Executive meet weekly the full PLT will now meet bi-monthly rather than monthly, at a slightly longer meeting.

Parish Leadership Team Meeting Outcomes, Monday 4 August 2008

Brief summary report (not Minutes) may be downloaded here.


Parish Leadership Team Meeting Outcomes, 12 May 2008

 A report (not Minutes) on this meeting  can be downloaded here

In much briefer dot point summary: 

This meeting reported and deliberated on a large number of issues, including: 

1) Changes in the Church (forthcoming event with Fr Frank O'Lauchlan)

2) Parish Associate (Advertisement for position)

3) Facility Master-plan (as prelude to Parish Master-plan)

4) Parish Profile (agreement to establish this)

5) Liturgy (1. successful involvement of young people 2. Confirmation developments)

6) Maintenance (Unified Parish Maintenance Group_

7) No Parking (new signs behinds MI Church)

8) Financial Analysis (progressing work)

9) "Opt-In" (encouraging ALL Online Parishioners to "subscribe" to website. No cost)

10) Outreach (continues very active programme plus a new initiative for October)

11) Korean Community (Here for the long term. Both Korean and parish integrated)

12) World Youth Day (good outcome for Parish. Pilgrims and Parishioners to socialise)

13) Schools (continuing progress)

14) Young Peoples' Group (new Confirmation young people invited to join)

15) Burma Disaster (special fund-raising)

16) A little "Fr John Humour" (must read this directly!)

Parish Leadership Team Meeting Outcomes, 14 April 2008

For a more detailed report click here. In brief the meeting received reports and deliberated on several Parish developments and initiatives including Liturgy, new Finance Group, Improved Communication, the History Project, Outreach, Young people, and World Youth Day. Particular Attention was given to initiatives in our Parish Schools, and good news concerning their growth and future plans. Not so encouraging was progress at this stage towards a Pastoral Associate.

Fr John will invite renowned theologian and advocate for creative thinking and parish development Fr Frank O'Laughlin to meet with the PLT.


Parish Leadership Team Meeting Outcomes, 18 March 2008

Report on 1) Deferral of move to one Mass centre, and 2) Pastoral Development.

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