We are a community of communities, drawn from many languages and cultures who—through Baptism and the Holy Spirit—are committed to knowing, loving and serving Jesus Christ in the modern world.
Led by our local bishop, Brian Mascord, we are today some 191,000 baptised Catholics in the Illawarra, Macarthur, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands regions of NSW, Australia.
Our diocese has been blessed with a rich diversity—traditional Aboriginal custodians, old settlers and newly-arrived migrants; rural, urban and industrial environments; coastal and highland settings; established townships and some of the fastest growing suburbs in Australia. Our diocese was established in 1952 from elements of the Archdiocese of Sydney and Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn. The first parishes in the diocese—Campbelltown (1835), Appin (1837) and Wollongong (1838)—date back to the early days of European settlement.
Although our diocese has a young history, the foundations of our Church go back 2,000 years to the person of Jesus Christ. The beauty and fullness of this Tradition has been handed down to us—and some 3,000 other dioceses around the world—in an unbroken line of popes from St Peter to Pope Francis. Together, we are one in Christ, seeking to be bearers of his saving love.
The purpose of our diocese is to propose Jesus Christ by fostering a communion of vibrant parish, school, welfare and religious communities that equip the faithful to carry out the mission of Christ in the world.
The vision of our diocese is that everyone will encounter the love and mercy of the Father through Jesus Christ, be accompanied by a community of believers and be equipped to share that encounter with others in the power of the Holy Spirit.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the Dharawal, Tharawal, Gundungurra and Yuin nations upon whose land our Catholic parishes, schools and agencies are built.
We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders—past, present and emerging.
Advent and Lenten programs distributed each year
Journey Catholic Radio listeners each week
View a map listing all the parish and station churches in the diocese.
Bishop Brian Gregory Mascord was born in Newcastle NSW on 30 January 1959—the eldest son of Ron and Margaret Mascord (nee Callinan) and older brother to John. He grew up in the parish of St Mary Immaculate Charlestown (now part of the MacKillop Parish incorporating Charlestown, Gateshead and Redhead.) Through the gift of his grandparents, Brian has a close relationship with his extended family.
“The parish is the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration. In all its activities the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelisers. It is a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey, and a centre of constant missionary outreach” (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 28).
Catholic education is a significant contributor to the broader evangelising mission of the Church—a mission through which the person of Jesus Christ is made known and loved. It is hoped that this missionary impulse is evident in every aspect and dimension of school life. With this missionary focus, our schools are committed to the formation of the whole person; a formation that encompasses the spiritual, intellectual, physical, social, moral, aesthetic and religious capacity of each child that enters its doors.
students in the region educated in our Catholic schools
Our social services
Inspired by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, especially the parable of the Good Samaritan, CatholicCare reaches out to the whole community by bringing joy to those they serve—enabling growth, healing and hope.
As the social services agency for the diocese, CatholicCare’s range of services providing social and emotional support throughout life’s journey, supporting people to have positive relationships and connected lives, achieve the dignity of self-reliance, and realise their full human potential.
Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.