A new phase has commenced with what is called among the Capuchin friars, Fraternal Collaboration between Circumscriptions, in which long-term contracts have been signed with the Capuchin friars of St Thomas, Kerala, India and St Anthony, Goa, India. This has allowed us to expand our presence and establish two more fraternities, one in the parish of South Melbourne and the other at Dutton Park, Brisbane, taking on pastoral care of the parishes of South Brisbane, Dutton Park and West End. It is also a phase when we are giving fuller expression to our Capuchin charism of outreach and service to the poor and marginalised.
South Melbourne: At the beginning of February 2012, three friars took up residence in the presbytery of Ss Peter & Paul. It was like a home-coming in that the first parish priest, Fr John OÇonnor, was a Capuchin, and died in the parish in 1869. The friars are engaged in parish ministry, social outreach to the poor through Open House and Van ministry, and faith formation of young adults.
Dutton Park, QLD: Capuchins moved to Dutton Park in November 2013 and have the pastoral care of the parishes of South Brisbane, Dutton Park and West End, which have four Brisbane inner-city churches comprising St Mary’s (South Brisbane), St Francis (Westend), Mother of Perpetual Help (Fairfield) and St Ita’s (Dutton Park), which includes a primary school. The friary is a house of formation for our postulants (first year of formation). In January 2014 the friars began a ministry of outreach to refugees and provide educational and recreational activities at St Francis Church. The friars are also involved in youth ministry, hospital and hostel (homeless) visitation, catechesis to the South Brisbane State High School and provide a chaplain for the Indonesian community of Brisbane, and assist at the chaplaincy of the Australian Catholic University.