Fundraising is in full swing in Chittering WA, as Fr Paul Fox PP, parishioners and Divine Mercy devotees from far and wide prepare this year for construction of the new Divine Mercy Church and complex. It will truly be a place for people to encounter the Mercy of God. The message of Divine Mercy as given by Jesus through St Faustina will be actively promoted at the church. Fr Paul has a First Class relic of St Faustina, which was brought from Poland before Christmas and a beautiful two metre oil painting of the Divine Mercy which will be visible to all who enter the Church. It will form part of the reredos above the tabernacle in the centre of the sanctuary.

The Church will be constructed at Maryville Downs Estate, Lower Chittering, a very picturesque setting on the outskirts of the city of Perth. It will be a place of pilgrimage for the Archdiocese, with daily Mass, Adoration and devotions. There are already many pilgrimages to other churches in the parish, which include St Anne’s Church in Bindoon, St Catherine of Siena church at Gingin and Our Lady’s Shrine at Bullsbrook. Often people come from parishes in the city on pilgrimages and visit all three churches in the one day, with the local community providing hospitality to the pilgrims. The new church will be built in a traditional style of architecture and will be surmounted by a beautiful octagonal copper dome over the transept. The façade will include two bell towers with imported bells which will chime for the Angelus three times a day and provide various other religious melodies.

St Anne's, Bindoon

St Anne’s, Bindoon

Parishioners have been working hard over the past year collecting local rock for the church. The stone is found on paddocks around Bindoon and part of the charm is that it is all un-quarried, but perfect for construction and about 200-300 mm in size. This same stone was used on St Anne’s, Bindoon, which was built by Fr Paul and the parish community in 2004.

Adjacent to the Divine Mercy church there will a presbytery, administration building and parish centre. Archbishop Hickey has also recently approved the construction of Immaculate Heart College on the adjoining site to the church. This will be an independent school. The Missionary Congregation of Mary MCM, a congregation of religious sisters from the Philippines, who are highly qualified teachers and speak excellent English, will be involved in administering the college. It will start initially with Kindergarten to Year Three in 2012 and build up gradually each year, ensuring a strong Catholic and academic formation for the students. The college will be very loyal to Catholic teaching. There is already a good deal of local support with many families committed to enrolling their children. It will provide diversity and a real option for parents who are looking for something more in terms of faith formation. It will teach the virtues and introduce a tutorial system.

Thus, this year will be a year of building for this community and Fr Paul would welcome prayers as well as any donations towards fundraising efforts for the new Divine Mercy Church. For more details please check the parish website.

Rev Paul Fox is parish priest of Gingin-Chittering in the Archdiocese of Perth. Construction of the new church commenced in June 2012.