Update from the Good Shepherd Parish in Kelmscott
from a message received May 30, 2005:
Last week one of our parishioners
was asked to visit the Parish priest with a view to discussing
the use of the Parish hall (which
is now very difficult to access because of the Neocat services).
When he fronted, he was ambushed by the Parish priest and his
assistant in that they wanted to know who the leader of this dissenting
group was, where did we all meet, what was spoken of and so on.
When he refused, he was called a coward and there was plenty
and thumping of desks. He has written to the Archbishop and we
shall see what happens???
The Mirrabooka Parish (here in Perth)
where the Neocats began their operation about 12 years ago has
now seen some disgruntled
parishioners get a petition signed and have had an audience with
Of course the Parish priest (of
Mirrabooka) visited one of the parishioners and demanded that
be handed over to him. "Are
you trying to get me in the shit"? was the PP's question.
Coincidentally, he left on leave
for a month a few days later.
So...the battle goes on. Shall keep you posted.
Keep up the great work and do always
keep in touch. Our people are very encouraged by
the actions of your people. Please convey this to
God Bless always
The following are letters from parishioners
who have asked that they be posted on the Church Mouse.
St Mary’s Cathedral
25 Victoria Square
I am writing on behalf of some of the concerned parishioners of
the Good Shepherd Parish of Kelmscott.
Four years ago, when the Salesian priests left Kelmscott,
we were sent 2 priests from the Redemptoris Mater Seminary. We
heard of them before and at that time did not realise that they
were from the Neocatechumenal Order. They did not announce themselves
or tell parishioners about their Way or of their intentions for
the parish. Believe me; we have nothing against the Neocatechumenal Way,
as they are one of several orders within the Catholic Church.
we are saddened and disappointed in is the clandestine manner
in which they have set foot and since operated within the parish.
We have always associated Honesty, Integrity, Openness and Communication
as the apex of the Catholic Church. The tactics, secrecy and
which have manifested their modus operandi have simply shaken
They began in the first year, to mingle with the parishioners,
even asking to be invited to people’s homes. They participated
in lunches, dinners and attended birthdays and anniversaries etc.
Now it appears that this was a strategy to identify those whom
they felt might be possible recruits for their Way. This was also
used to identify ‘Responsibles’ (Leaders) for the future operation
of their services in the parish.
Then came the ‘First Deceit’. We were asked to participate in
an Adult Catechesis. We were told that this would result in life
changing moments. We thought this was more about building on the
Catechism of the Catholic Church and a strengthening of our faith.
The sessions were introduced as if though the Catechists were in
fact sent by the Bishop to the parish. We believed and attended.
No questions were allowed and no note taking permitted. We were
betrayed when we eventually discovered that this was in fact a
recruitment process for the Neocatechumenal Way. People were not informed about what this Way was about and of the
requirement to attend all the talks and the two day convivance
so as to ‘qualify’ to attend future services back at the parish.
Co-incidentally, at the two day convivance, the same people whom
the priests had approached prior to this were duly elected? As
leaders (Responsibles). And, we are expected to view this as honesty
There is so much more that I can write on this entire debacle
but shall refrain in the interests of trying to keep this brief.
I guess the most disturbing aspect of all (apart from the aforementioned
secrecy etc) is the ‘Little by Little’ approach they operate by
where they try and get as many parishioners as possible to change
their way of worship. So many things that we used to be able to
do in the Church was soon discouraged or not permitted.
Today, there is Division and Disharmony in the parish. Those who
follow the Neocatechumenal Way look down on us as they have the
blessings of the parish priest. They walk past and do not talk
to us and as such we reciprocate accordingly.
There are only about 5% of parishioners who have
been ‘Hooked’ by the priest-in-charge, Fr Melvin Llabanes, who
gives most of
his time to this Way.
For 3 years, Father Melvin had not informed parishioners about
the services that were going on in the parish hall. He at no time
mentioned his plans for the parish. We approached him to do so
but he quite provocatively told us where to go. So, we put out
some information which we had asked him to peruse and then meet
with us. He refused and we went ahead.
This resulted in him attacking us from the pulpit and lying to
parishioners about what really happened.
It is so hypocritical to hear him go on and on about Forgiveness,
Humility and the like during his agonisingly long homilies. It
is ironical that this is the Good Shepherd Parish as I can tell
you; we are yet to witness the role modelling of such.
We have read about how the Good Shepherd should he lose one sheep,
leaves the other 99 to search for and bring back the lost one.
Well, there are many sheep that have left the parish because of
the parish priest and yet he cares not a bit. His prime objective
is the continuance of the Way at any cost.
So today, we have a parish within a parish with Father Melvin
being our visiting priest.
We have on several occasions tried to talk with him so as to heal
the situation but he point blank will not entertain this. In fact,
he does not talk to those of us whom he considers as troublemakers
and traditional Catholics who will not change.
At the end of the day, I am sure you will agree that in any given
parish, the role of the parish priest is to bring peace and harmony.
To role model and to proactively work towards one holy Catholic
and Apostolic Church. Here we have the opposite. He is the cause
of the situation that exists.
He has spread (among his followers) that we are against them.
He is ever so arrogant, stubborn, deceitful, secretive, sneaky
and cunning in his disposition.
Father, please hear us as we plead with you to send us one non
Neocatechumenal Way priest to look after the 95% of the parishioners
who do not belong to the Way. It is obvious that Father Melvin
is simply performing the Rites of the Mass but his heart and soul
is not in it. We too are uneasy and find it so disheartening to
have to celebrate the Holy Mass under these conditions.
In the past 4 months the priest-in-charge has been away for some
time but none of the mainstream parishioners were told about it.
Needless to say the Neocatechumenal followers were well informed.
Many parishioners have left the parish and as long as Father
Melvin is still here the Division and Disharmony will fester.
we plead again with you to think of us and send us a mainstream
priest. I am sure you will agree that this is a reasonable request.
Thank you for giving us your time to read this plea.
Yours in Christ
Father Peter Bianchini
Father Christopher Ross
[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.]
Archbishop Barry Hickey
St Mary’s Cathedral
I am writing to you concerning the coming Easter Vigil celebration
at the Good Shepherd Parish in Kelmscott.
For the past two years, despite protestation the Parish priest
has insisted on including parts of the Neocatechumen service in
the Mass. This has led to reduced numbers attending.
While I understand that this may be ‘sanctioned’, it is this attitude
and stubbornness that further enflames the situation within the
Along with others, we hope that this year we may be able to celebrate
the Easter Vigil in a manner that is prevalent in the majority
of churches where the ‘Mainstream’ way is concluded.
The Neocatechumen Eucharist ( as you know) is celebrated in the
parish hall from around 11pm to 5am.Do you not think that it is
not reasonable to ask that those parishioners who do not follow
the Neocatechumen Way be allowed the privilege to celebrate and
enjoy the Easter Vigil in the ‘Traditional’ manner.
I pray that you are able to ensure that our request be granted.
Yours in Christ
Archbishop Barry Hickey
St Mary’s Cathedral
I wrote to you on 17 March 2005, concerning the Easter Vigil celebration
and the hope that we would be able to participate in the mainstream
I had intended to give you some feedback but circumstances have
prevented me from doing so until now.
While I am grateful that the Mass was in the main celebrated in
accordance with our hopes, I am sorry to state that there were
still intrusions of the Neocatechumen Way, particularly during
the Preface and Eucharistic Prayer. I guess this simply highlights
the provocative, stubborn and defiant attitude that we have had
to put up with for quite some time. When one considers that there
was a Neocatechumen service later that night in the parish community
hall, why deny us of what we feel we need. This furthers us from
Anyhow, we are left with no option but to continue our struggle,
as it would appear that our pleas are being ignored.
Yours in Christ