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A parish is a local/suburban Catholic community centred on a local church. A parish has certain geographical boundaries that can include a number of suburbs. For example, the parish of Floreat includes the suburb of Wembley. In the country areas, a parish can include a number of towns. For example, the parish of York includes the towns of Beverley and Brookton. A parish community is normally cared for by a parish priest who lives within the parish. A group of parishes makes up a diocese or archdiocese. The parishes of Perth make up the Archdiocese of Perth. An Archdiocese is led by an Archbishop. The Archbishop of Perth is Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB. His Assistant Bishop is Bishop Donald Sproxton.

Baptism takes place in your local parish church. Most Baptisms take place on a Sunday. This is to highlight that Baptism is about belonging to the Christian community. The Christian community is expressed within your local Catholic parish. Some parishes celebrate Baptism during the parish Sunday Mass. All parishes ask that the parents and godparents undertake some form of preparation and instruction before their child is baptised.

Contact your local parish and parish priest for more information.

The best thing to do is to go along to your local Catholic parish church and to make yourself known to the parish priest. If you are a bit nervous about meeting the parish priest, think about taking a Catholic friend along with you.

Most adults who wish to become Catholic are taken through a period of instruction in which they learn about Catholic faith. This is done either personally with the parish priest or through a process, shared with others who also desire to become Catholic, called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).

Contact your local parish and parish priest for more information. Alternatively, contact the RCIA Office.

To be married in the Catholic Church, either you or your affianced needs to be a baptised Catholic. The most important thing to do first is to arrange to meet your local parish priest. He will tell you of the requirements that are needed to be married in the Catholic Church. He will also tell you about government requirements for marriage. If either of you has been married before, you should mention this to the priest at your first meeting with him.

It is required that all couples undertake preparation and marriage education before they are married. Your priest celebrant will be able to give you information about the preparation courses offered in a parish or in the diocese. It is important not to book a church or chapel and reception venue until after you have spoken to your local priest and until you have contacted a priest who has undertaken to celebrate your wedding for you.

Contact your local parish and parish priest for more information.

Journalists and other members of the media who would like to contact or seek comment from His Grace, Most Rev Timothy Costelloe SDB, Catholic Archbishop of Perth, are requested to direct all enquiries in the first instance to:

Mr Brett Mendez
Media Manager
Mobile: 0448 791 661

It is best to contact the Archdiocese’s Communications and Media Manager. Details can be found above.

Media requests relating to Catholic Primary and High Schools should be referred initially to the Catholic Education Office’s Senior Media & Communications Advisor who can be contacted at (08) 6380 5153 and/or

Please go to the Media Access / Media Approved Photographs section of this website.

Yes, you will need to do this by contacting the parish priest or the priest-in-charge, or by contacting the Archdiocese’s Communications and Media Manager. Details can be found above.

If your complaint relates in any way to a crime then please go directly to the Police.

If the matter relates to allegations of misconduct against Clergy, Religious and Church personnel then please contact the Office for Professional Standards in Western Australia (Phone: 1800 072 390, email:

If your complaint relates to a general matter connected to the Catholic Church within the boundaries of the Archdiocese of Perth then please contact the Vicar General, the Very Rev Peter Whitely (Phone: (08) 9223 1351, email:

Understanding conscience is essential to the moral life and the life of faith. A solid grasp of Catholic teaching about conscience makes it possible to live a moral life. And, sadly, a defective understanding can destroy your moral life.

This topic is so important that you should read this article, and then carefully study the Catechism's section on conscience.

A fundamental principle of Catholic morality is that you must follow your conscience. But be careful: there's a strong tendency for all of us to distort the full meaning of that principle! We tend to use it as a giant loophole for doing any old thing that we'd like. A well-formed conscience will never contradict the objective moral law, as taught by Christ and His Church. (Catechism, 1783-5, 1792, 2039)

A safe way to read this principle is: if your conscience is well formed, and you are being careful to reason clearly and objectively from true moral principles, then you must follow the reasoned judgement of your conscience about the morality of a specific act. Otherwise, seek reliable guidance in forming your conscience.

The good or evil of specific acts shapes our whole life. We choose God or reject Him specifically in the morality of our actions. We must choose to do good in order to choose God, grow in freedom, sanctify ourselves, and let God's grace work in us to make us "children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life." (Catechism, 1996)

Moral conscience is the key that makes this moral life possible: it is exactly how we know what the good is in specific cases, and it beckons us to always choose the good. And, even when we choose wrongly, conscience calls us to seek God's merciful forgiveness so that we can begin again.

The easiest way to go about this is to talk to the priest at your local Catholic church. He may be able to help you, or to put you in touch with someone else locally who can assist you in finding answers to your questions.

Alternatively, you may wish to contact the Centre for Liturgy in the Archdiocese of Perth (, The staff at this centre oversee the RCIA course (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) and should be able to point you in the right direction.

Anyone is permitted to attend a service in a Catholic church. Although the property is owned by the local Catholic diocese, the building is a place for all of God’s people. There is no strict dress code although, out of respect for God Himself and for others present, we strongly advise that people attending are appropriately clothed so as not to appear flirtatious or improper.It is no bad thing to dress smartly as a way of offering to God “our best” which is what He deserves. However, God is much more concerned with the state of our hearts than with our attire.

If attending a Catholic service for the first time, it is best to quietly sit somewhere near to the back of the building so as to observe all that is going on. Please do try and say hello to others present, and especially to the priest or deacon or whoever is leading the Church service.

Catholics refer to something called Tradition. What is it? Where does it come from? And why would anyone care about anything except the Bible, anyway?

Well, Sacred Tradition comes from Christ. It's the full, living gift of Christ to the Apostles, faithfully handed down through each generation. It is through Tradition that the Holy Spirit makes the Risen Jesus present among us, offering us the very same saving Word and Sacraments that He gave to the Apostles. Understanding Catholic Tradition is essential to understanding the Catholic Church and the Catholic Christian faith.

The word "tradition" actually means handing down something to another person. God’s Word, the Bible, testifies to this meaning of Catholic Tradition as the normal mode of transmitting the Faith: "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter." (2 Thessalonians 2:15), "For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you..." (1 Corinthians 11:23), "For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received..." (1 Corinthians 15:3). See also 2 Timothy 1:11-14, 2 Timothy 2:1-2, and Jude 1:3.

This is the most basic meaning of Catholic Tradition: it is the true Faith itself, given to the Apostles by Christ and faithfully transmitted to each new generation. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 77-78). Catholics often write Tradition, with a capital 'T', to mean Sacred Tradition. This Catholic Tradition is different from those traditions (small 't') that are merely customs, and which are not part of Divine Revelation.

Christ Himself is the source of the Church's authority. Christ founded the Church, created its structure, placed Peter at the head, gave it His own authority, identified it with Himself, promised to be with it forever, and sent His Spirit – the Holy Spirit – to guide it.

Admittedly, the Catholic Church makes an amazing claim: it teaches, governs, and sanctifies with the authority of Christ Himself.

he New Testament shows that Christ deliberately created His Church to be the vehicle of His continuing mission in the world. To ensure the success of this mission, Christ gave His Church the ability to teach, govern and sanctify with Christ's own authority.

The Apostles appointed successors to ensure that the Gospel would continue to be handed on faithfully as "the lasting source of all life for the Church" (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 20; also Catechism #860).

The source and guarantee of this Church authority is Christ's continuing presence in His Church — "Behold, I am with you always, to the end of time" (Mt 28:20). The purpose of this authority is to give the Church the ability to teach without error about the essentials of salvation: "On this rock, I will build My Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it" (Mt 16:18).

The scope of this authority concerns the official teachings of the Church on matters of faith, morals, and worship (liturgy and Sacraments). We believe that, because of Christ's continued presence and guarantee, His Church cannot lead people astray with its official teachings (which are distinct from the individual failings and opinions of its members, priests, bishops and popes).

Jesus founded the Catholic Church (the word ‘Catholic’ means universal).

The New Testament shows that Christ deliberately created a community of disciples to carry on His mission in the world. This community – the universal, or ‘Catholic’ Church – has existed since the time of Christ and the Apostles.

The Church's origin is not just academic. We see the first explicit testimony of the Catholic Church's origin when Jesus chooses Peter to be the rock of the Church's foundation. Here, Jesus plainly says that He is founding a new Church: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mt 16:18-19)

Catholics take this passage seriously, tracing the Catholic Church's origin to this point. Catholics believe that Jesus clearly expresses His will to "build my church", invest it with His own authority, and give Peter a special role as the head of that Church.

 A holy day of obligation is a day when Catholics have a duty to participate at the celebration of the Mass. Every Sunday of the year is a day of obligation.

Additionally, in 2001, the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference reviewed the holy days of obligation to be observed in Australia.

Aside from each Sunday, there are two holy days of obligation in Australia: the Nativity of the Lord/Christmas Day (25 December) and the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (15 August).

 By visiting, you will find some valuable information on the issues of euthanasia, abortion and reproductive technologies and other moral issues that people question and discuss.

Many people have asked this question since Jesus walked the earth. One of the writers of a book in the Bible called James wrote in his letter, "What is the good of a man's saying he has faith, if he has no good deeds to show?... Show me your faith without any good deeds, and I will show you my faith by my good deeds". (James 2:14ff)

If our faith in Jesus Christ i.e. our belief in everything He said and did, is merely about saying yes in our minds to a list of religious suggestions, then we are not living the fullness of life He desires for us. If we sincerely believe that Jesus rose from the dead, we are able, like Jesus, to endure challenges and suffering with real calmness and dedication. The Cross will make itself felt in the different circumstances of our lives. It is by uniting our lives with Jesus that everything we experience is given a real spiritual meaning.

We are also invited to use the gifts that God has given us. We use these to show how great He is and draw attention to Him and not ourselves. He gives us His own Spirit to help us to live out the kind of selfless love that Jesus spoke about and exemplified, such as in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). And we must forgive as the Lord forgives, such as in the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32).

There is no better way of making our everyday lives shine with Christian love and compassion than by a commitment to daily spending some time with God, known as ‘prayer’. Rather than seeing life and work as separate from our spirituality, it is important for a Christian to bring all that he or she does in life to God through prayer.

The current Lectionary (Book of Daily Mass Readings) used in Australia appears to draw from a combination of sources, including the Revised Standard Version (RSV) and the Jerusalem Bible.

The USA uses a different translation.

You can find the Readings used in Australia on several websites and smartphone apps, including:

Many parishes have websites which provide location and contact details as well as Mass times.

Australia: Start by going to Dioceses and Parishes of the Australian Church, then choose the Diocese you are travelling to. In most cases, you will be able to search for and find a parish in the area you are looking for and you will be able to locate its Mass times. Alternatively, you can phone the parish office or contact us for further assistance.

Overseas: For Mass times in Catholic churches around the world, visit (It is important to verify this information when you arrive.)