Part 3: 1982-2011 Consolidation of the Capuchin presence in Australia
The friars of Australia were officially classified as the Province of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the global Capuchin fraternity on 17th September, 1981. Since then growth in membership has been promoted and cultivated here in Australia. Also implied was self autonomy and local responsibility for future directions, goals and forms of apostolate.
Quite a number of the founding friars have either died or returned to their home provinces since. The number of Australian-born and home-trained Capuchins increased.
During this period the presence of the friars consolidated into five fraternities:
LEICHHARDT, N.S.W.: The fraternity is engaged with post-novitiate formation, parish ministry, including the Italian community, supplies to surrounding parishes, vocation work, faith formation of young people and outreach to the poor and marginalised. The house hosts the Vocation Office, Mission Office and the Development Office. The provincial curia is situated nearby and the friars working the curia reside in the friary.
PLUMPTON, N.S.W.: The friars live in the presbytery, next to Good Shepherd Church. They are engaged in parish ministry, chaplaincy to Our Lady of Consolation nursing home at Rooty Hill, pastoral care in the surrounding schools, with one friar working full-time at St Clare's Catholic High School, supply work in the diocese.
HAWTHORN, VIC.: the base of operation here is a church-shrine to St. Anthony of Padua where a variety of service is offered to the visitors and pilgrims. The friars are available for the Sacrament of Penance, Mass, devotional practises, counselling, baptisms, marriages etc. without any parish obligations. The friary is also a house of formation for young friars and coordinates youth ministry, ministry to the poor and chaplaincies of special groups.
NEWTON, S.A.: the friars minister to a vibrant, active and involved multicultural community, consisting mainly of Italians and their descendants. The parish has its main activities at Newton where there's a large church and well organised parish school.
WYNNUM, QLD.: Our friars live at Our Lady of the Angels presbytery, next to Guardian Angels Church. The friars minister in the parish and school, in chaplaincy to Nazareth House and to seafarers at the Port of Brisbane.