Gingin-Chittering Parish Priest Fr Paul Fox has this month celebrated his 25th anniversary of Priesthood.
In honour of Father Paul’s Silver Jubilee, the parish community came together Sunday 8 October for Mass and a community celebration.
Gingin-Chittering Parish marketing consultant Emma Gallagher told The Record that the significant number of people in attendance was testament of the love and care for Fr Paul, not just among parishioners, but also across the Archdiocese of Perth.
Appointed by Archbishop Emeritus Barry Hickey in 2000, Fr Paul Fox inherited a parish of four centres that between them had one single Church owned by the Parish, which had been closed down. Archbishop Hickey had described the parish in 2000 as a “Parish of Sheds”.
With great faith and zeal, Fr Paul set about to remedy the situation by first renovating the existing church of St Catherine’s in Gingin, which had been closed down due to an infestation of bees and other structural problems. Then with the untiring help of volunteers, he began building St Anne’s Church in Bindoon.
Fr Paul’s thoughts then turned to Lower Chittering. Providentially gifted with a generous parcel of land in a beautiful glade in stunning Lower Chittering at the centre of the envisioned Maryville Development, it was here that the vision of the Divine Mercy Church and a Catholic School gradually emerged in Fr Paul’s mind.
During four years of study for the Priesthood in Rome, Fr Paul grew in faith and knowledge. This was aided by his love for study, strong devotion to Our Lady, to the Blessed Sacrament and numerous pilgrimages.
Keen to foster this grace-filled tradition in Australia, Fr Paul began to see the enormous potential of the Chittering location as a holy destination of pilgrimage for the faithful of the Archdiocese.
After several years of prayer and planning and through the skills of designer Peter Anthes, a wonderful design for the Divine Mercy Church was produced.
This was subsequently approved by the Archdiocese and then as if to confirm everything, in 2011 a generous bequest was received, allowing construction of the Church to begin.
Through further generous donations, despite some delays in the ensuing years, the Divine Mercy Church opened in June 2021.