|Very Rev Fr Robert Bossini|
I am delighted to have been appointed Parish Priest and Dean of the Cathedral parish of St Patrick’s, Parramatta. It is a mission that I take seriously and with much enthusiasm, as it stands as a unique ministry within our Diocese. I hope and pray that our time together will be fruitful and beneficial, personally, as a Parish and for the Diocese.
I would like to take this opportunity to say something about myself, so that when I arrive in early September you may know something about me. I was born in Egypt and together with my family, came to Australia in 1957 after the Suez Crisis. After a short stay in Petersham, we moved to Merrylands, which remained the family home until Mum’s sudden death in 2010. I was educated by the Marist Sisters at St Margaret Marys, Merrylands. After two years at Merrylands Public School, I went to Patrician Brothers College, Granville (now known as Delaney College). I completed my secondary studies at Patrician Brothers College, Fairfield. Upon matriculating, I entered St Columba’s Seminary, Springwood to begin studies for the Priesthood. I remained there for two years, after which I entered the Salesians of Don Bosco, a religious order, founded by St John Bosco in Italy in the mid-19th Century to minister to underprivileged youth. My entering the Salesians meant that I had to relocate to Melbourne as their formation houses were there. I took my first vows as a Salesian on January 31st, 1978. In the years following I completed a Diploma of Teaching and then taught for three years at Salesian College, Sunbury, Victoria. I then returned to studies and on completion of a Bachelor of Education and Theology I was ordained to the Priesthood on July 11th, 1987 by the late Cardinal (then Archbishop) Edward Bede Clancy at the Shrine of St John Bosco, Engadine.
Since ordination I have continued teaching, holding the position of Religious Education Coordinator in many of the Salesian Schools, as well as Youth Centre Coordinator in Victoria and Tasmania. In 1999 I returned to Sydney as Rector of the Salesian Community and Mission at Engadine. In 2004 I was posted to Our Lady of the Rosary parish in St Marys, where I remained as Parish Priest until the end of 2010. In that time I graduated as a Spiritual Director and completed my Masters of Art (Theology).
In the course of 2010, I went through the discernment process in order to be incardinated into the Parramatta Diocese. So after 34 years within the Salesian Order, I was accepted by Bishop Anthony into his Diocese. My first posting as a priest of the Diocese was Our Lady Queen of Peace Greystanes in 2011, a formidable position, taking over from the late Fr Gerry Iverson. I have truly settled into the life of a Diocesan Priest and have enjoyed my time as Pastor at Greystanes. Now a new venture and ministry lies before me and I am delighted to have been asked by Bishop Anthony to be your Pastor and Dean of the Cathedral. I trust that we will work together to continue to strengthen and renew God’s Kingdom in Parramatta. I look forward to meeting you and working with and for you.
With every blessing,
Very Rev Fr Robert Bossini