Thursday 28 April 2011
I began working at St Mary’s Parish in Williamstown on 1 February this year. I was born and raised in Williamstown and I have received all my sacraments at St Mary’s, as well as getting my primary education at the school next door to the church. I heard about the parish secretary role through the parish newsletter. I decided to apply for it as I believed that I would be a good fit for the position, especially since I know many of the parishioners already, in particular the people at the 10.30am Mass on Sundays.I feel this is my second home! Fr Greg Trythall and Sr Helen Reed have made me feel very comfortable and are constantly giving me feedback. We are all part of a large team, which includes Rosita the housekeeper, the parishioners and the school staff at St Mary’s Primary School (where one of my best friends, Jillian, is a Year 1 teacher).I had very big shoes to fill, as the previous parish secretary, Di, was here for 38 years. My role in the presbytery is more of an office manager, as it includes finance, payroll and the secretarial side of the position. I am very excited about one of my projects: getting a website organised that I will maintain for our parish.Fr Greg is a fabulous boss and he and I are working together to update everything, from computer technology to newsletters and how we disseminate information to our parishioners and the general public. I could not do this without the help of Sue O’Loughlin, who has been working with me and showing me the ropes in regards to bookkeeping and the ‘dreaded’ balancing of the spreadsheets.St Mary’s Parish was one of the first in Melbourne. It is in the beautiful bayside suburb of Williamstown. My parents arrived here in 1957 and are still living in Williamstown, having moved house three times but never out of the suburb. Many of our parishioners have lived here most – if not all – of their lives. I could not imagine living anywhere else.I am married to Greg (a coincidence that we often laugh over as my boss and my husband have the same name) and we have triplet daughters in Year 8. This keeps us very busy. The girls are being raised as Catholics and have had all their sacraments in the beautiful bluestone church which I can see just outside my office window. I never tire of looking at this beautiful, historic structure.We attend 10.30am Mass and the girls and I are part of the church choir. My daughter Nikki plays the drums, and Serena is a vocalist, as is Cassandra (although she tends to play rock music on her guitar, but not at Mass). We just love being part of the Christmas and Easter ceremonies and enjoy the company of the musicians. These include Kevin, our pianist, John, whose beautiful voice just booms through the church when he sings, Sue on the recorder, Felix on guitar, and my friend Sandra.During my spare time, I like to play music with my family and go to the gym. I am also part of the Williamstown High School council.I feel that I have the perfect home/work balance and I will be forever grateful to Fr Greg and the parish council for giving me the opportunity to come to St Mary’s and make a difference, not only in the work sense but also to the people with whom I connect every day. I feel truly blessed.
Kairos Catholic Journal Volume 22, Issue 7