Update from the Good Shepherd Parish in Kelmscott
parishioners of Kelmscott finally
had a visit from Aux Bishop Sproxton last Tuesday (28 Sept 2004).
Sproxton is a Neocat and along with
Archbishop Hickey promotes the Way. They have planted as parish
priest the Neocat Fr Melvin, who has Little by Little tried to implement
the Way through stealth, cunning and deceit, creating division,
conflict, disharmony and mistrust, and causing several
parishioners to leave the parish.
[CM October 2012 - After a little over a year, members of the St Vincent's community have not found Fr Melvin to be their ideal priest, but he is making a consistent and concerted effort to bring harmony to a fractured parish.]
The Neocats have had 3 intakes resulting
in a total of around 25 recruits out of 400 parishioners. Some of
the 25 are from outside the parish. Two or three families make up
the bulk of their followers or worshippers.
The following letter was emailed to
the Bishops; we hope you can post it on the website.
Letter to the Perth Bishops
Dear Archbishop Hickey and Bishop Sproxton
I write this with restraint (on behalf of some concerned parishioners)
only as a mark of respect for the positions you hold in the Catholic
Church. As a Catholic along with many others who attended the Neocatechumen
talk on Tuesday 28 September 2004, We feel let down, saddened and
disappointed. The Integrity, Truth, Honesty, Openness and Dialogue
that I have always associated with the Catholic Church and its leaders
have yet again taken a beating.
After the personal meeting with Bishop Sproxton and the collection
of letters sent to you by some parishioners, we (at least) hoped
for the courtesy of a response to the concerns raised in the aforementioned.
What we have got in return appears to be a deliberate strategy to
not address these concerns and simply (in a typically politically
way) work around this by not giving direct answers.
Anyhow, that man Shakespeare was a clever fellow in telling us
that it was such a tangled web we weave when first we venture to
It is now fully apparent that the introduction of the Neocatechumen
way was well planned at your level and the parish priest placed
in the parish to implement the same. It is now also confirmed that
his defiance and provocative nature is because of the implicit confidence
he has in your support as he has come to carry out your desire to
replicate the movement which you have installed in the Mirrabooka
parish. Even at evenings end last Tuesday he carried on in a manner
which once again demonstrates the petulance and immaturity he excels
in, by clapping as he walked up and down the hall. A fine example
of this Neocatechumen way, I must say.
We do hope that Bishop Sproxton although reluctant to publicly
acknowledge the whole debacle, would have at least inwardly accepted
that the methodology and behaviour of the parish priest is a cause
for concern. This was never more evident in His Grace's statement
that the Neocatechumen way is introduced into a parish at the invitation
of the parish priest, after the parish priest has consulted with
the parishioners, through the parish council and other bodies/people.
After being told that this had not occurred, there was an immediate
back-flip with the statement that this was not obligatory and that
the parish priest could act without the aforementioned. Well, I’ll
leave this one with you to ponder over. No doubt you can assume
what we think of this. This simply exemplifies the entire plan and
strategy to introduce the way to the Good Shepherd Parish. Here
we have a 'new' parish priest (who does not possess the basic requirements
of effective communication and struts around with the constant comment
"I am the parish priest" when brought to task on matters),
who simply brings something in under the disguise of attending an
Adult Catechesis. And, we are expected to respect the Catholic ethos??
As mentioned several times and as demonstrated at the talk it was
plainly evident that today there is Division, Disunity, Disharmony
and Mis-trust in the parish on an unprecedented scale. We hope that
you are happy with your achieving the introduction of this way at
the expense of what we have in the parish today. Several parishioners
have left the parish and Mass attendance is a challenge as we encounter
the pulpit bashings from the parish priest.
At this stage I may mention that our struggle will go on. In fact
we feel much more determined to expose the manner and behaviour
of this sorry saga. This is not a threat but simply the result of
what we feel. It is obvious that the establishment of the way is
the prime purpose of an overall scheme to establish this in as many
parishes as possible. This could be further strengthened by referring
to the Kelmscott parish as yet another one to embrace the way.
As I mentioned earlier, the tactics used in establishing a Neocatechumen
follower as a parish priest and then the gradual implementation
and secretive methodology underpinned with the 'Little by Little'
motto is something one would associate with a dishonest person or
From your reluctance to acknowledge the concerns we have raised
it is confirmation that you intend to ignore these concerns and
press on regardless. Even Bishop Sproxton's letter to the parish
priest points out that some traditional Catholics will feel threatened
by the way. Why assume/accuse us of being threatened?
Pray! Can the good Bishop tell us what else is being or has been
done in the parish since the way has been set up?
In the enthusiasm to set up the way, the 98% of other parishioners
seem not to exist. Even the use of the Parish hall was off limits
until your recent letters to some parishioners.
In this sorry tale it is evident that neither you nor the parish
priest has endeavoured to soothe the waters by firstly finding out
what the actual concerns were. This could have been done by sitting
collectively around a table and openly and maturely discussing the
same. Instead we have been told by our parish priest to "Go
see the Bishop" whenever approached. We have had to endure
pulpit bashings (even by a visiting priest from Redfern) lies and
accusations from the parish priest and a rather defiant, I don't
really care attitude.
Added to this is the fact that the parish priest has told several
people that we are troublesome and disobedient people who are against
the Neocatechumen Way and who refuse to listen. This is a LIE. All
our correspondence and meetings with you have stated otherwise.
All we want is the opportunity to worship in the manner we were
able to before the arrival of the parish priest. He is intent on
doing things the Neocatechumenal way, by stealthily introducing
some of the way, into the mainstream Church itself. He chooses to
allow or disallow what he considers falls in line with this way.
Anyhow, all this has been explained to you several times before.
So, here we are at this point where the situation remains unchanged
and the parish now goes on with sadness particularly at the absence
of watching Catholicism at work.
May God be with us all
Yours in Christ
( On behalf of the concerned parishioners )
The following was distributed
to Kelmscott parishioners after Sproxton's disappointing visit:
Information Update - Good Shepherd Parish
Good Shepherd Parish Mainstream Parishioners
Firstly, thank you for your ongoing support and interest in our
As you know Bishop Sproxton visited the Parish on the 26th September
after accepting an invitation from us (made on the 28th July). Below
is a recap of events.
Unfortunately, His Grace did not address any of the concerns we
had raised with him previously on the 28th July at the Cathedral
office. As such, the issues remain unresolved and we are left with
no other option, other than to seek assistance from elsewhere. What
His Grace did confirm was the Neocatechumen Way’s intention is to
create Small Communities within the parish.
Of significance, was the statement by him that for the Neocatechumen
Way to be introduced into a parish, the Parish priest consults and
takes advice from the Parish Council before proceeding. When informed
that this DID NOT HAPPEN in our Parish, we were then told that this
was not compulsory. The Bishop, however did inform us of the various
other programs around, CaFE and BEC being two of the others.
One of the outstanding matters, has been the non existence of any
other form of Evangelisation for those parishioners who chose not
to follow this Neocatechumen Way. Accordingly, some parishioners
have taken it upon themselves to investigate and introduce a programme
called CaFE, which is currently operating in several other parishes.
Unfortunately, we are now told that this will not be introduced
until ‘before lent’ of next year? We look forward to CaFE, and encourage
all parishioners to attend.
USE OF HALL
As you may know, the use of the Parish Hall is now no longer available
to parishioners on Wednesday and Saturday evenings because the Neocatechumen
services are held on these evenings. We consider this to be indicative
of the selfish and authoritative attitude displayed. Many parishioners
put in a great deal of hard work, labour and fund raising to build
the hall so that parishioners could come together with the aim of
fostering a community spirit and fellowship.
Do you think this is fair and reasonable… that this decision has
been taken without consultation and concern for the 95% of the parishioners
who do not follow this Neocatechumen Way? Can not an alternative
venue be found, when the parish needs the hall on the occasional
Even the Parish Christmas function will be held (again) on a Friday
We have heard from some parishioners in Redfern (NSW) that they
too have had their parish turned upside down since the unannounced
arrival of the Neocatechumen priests and their Way. Should you be
interested to read about the situation that exists in Redfern and
see the parallels in our parish then go to church-mouse.net. Another
site of interest is www.onlinecatholics.com.au
Finally, St. Gerard’s Church in the Mirrabooka has been ‘restructured’
to the style of the Neocatechumen Way. This is a result of the ‘Little
by Little’ approach that gradually encroaches and then encompasses.
Take a trip to St. Gerard’s of Mirrabooka and see for yourself.
Thank you for taking the time to read our flier.