Welcome to St Bernadette’s

Regular Mass times and Liturgies recommence Saturday 23 October 2021. All are welcome vaccinated and unvaccinated. Mandatory: Wearing mask, sign in or scan QR code. No singing during Masses. Social distancing must be practised. Each Mass is limited to 100 attendees.

Greetings with the Love and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Fr. John Paul Escarlan

I pray that you and your family will have a grace-filled and blessed 2022.

It is with great pleasure that I introduce myself to you as your new parish administrator.

First and foremost, I wish to express my sincerest and heartfelt gratitude to Fr Andrew Robinson for his great and faithful ministry for 19 years as your parish priest. I am so grateful to him too for his helpful hand over and easy transition for me to take this new role.

I was born in Cebu, Philippines on 7th of October 1983 (Feast Day of Our Lady of the Rosary). I was named after St Pope John Paul II who visited Cebu in 1981—a time when many boys were named after him due to his visit. I am the 3rd child of Pablo and Paloma Escarlan. I have two sisters (the eldest and the youngest) and one older brother.

I grew up in Santa Fe, Cebu (Bantayan Island) where I finished my primary and secondary schools. In June 2000, I entered the seminary right after I finished my high school studies to become a priest for the Archdiocese of Cebu. After I completed my Bachelor of Philosophy in 2006 at San Carlos Seminary College in Cebu, I applied to continue my priestly formation for the Diocese of Parramatta. I arrived in Australia on 4th of October 2006 and formally continued my priestly formation for the Diocese of Parramatta in 2007. With the grace from God, after I have completed my Bachelor of Theology, I was ordained as a deacon on 23rd of November 2012 at St Michael’s Church, Blacktown. And eventually I was ordained as a priest on 13th of September 2013 at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta. Both ordinations were officiated by the then Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher.

Prior to my appointment to your parish, I have been assigned as an assistant priest at St Madeline Sophie Barat’s Parish, Kenthurst where I started as a parish deacon (8 Dec 2012 – 27 Apr 2014); St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta (28 Apr 2014 – 18 Nov 2016); the Parish of Richmond (19 Nov 2016 – 31 Dec 2018); and Mary, Queen of the Family, Parish, Blacktown (1 Jan 2019 – 31 Dec 2021). When I was assigned in the Cathedral, I was appointed as the Diocesan Master of Ceremonies by Bishop Anthony Fisher. In August 2014, I assisted Bishop Anthony as his MC during the Holy Mass with the Sacrament of Confirmation and Sunday’s Mass when he did his Pastoral Visit to your parish—the first time I met some of your fellow parishioners. When I was assigned in the Parish of Richmond, Bishop Vincent Long appointed me as the Director of Priestly Vocations (I am still currently doing this role until further notice as per the Bishop’s instruction to me).

This is the first time that I have been assigned as the only priest in the parish—let alone the one in charge of its administrative aspect of the parish. Since I visited your parish in the first weekend of December 2021 to concelebrate and preach during the Mass with Fr Andrew, I really felt of your warm welcome—a feeling that I also experienced when I officially take the role as your new parish administrator during my first weekend Masses (1st and 2nd of January 2022).

I am looking forward to personally meet you and get to know you as my parishioners. I am deeply humbled to serve you as a priest. I am honoured to work with you as your fellow parishioner under the patronage of St Bernadette.

St Bernadette; pray for us!

May God bless us always!

With my prayers and priestly blessings to you and your family,

Fr John Paul