Parish Administration

Parish Clergy

  • Fr Thomas Chirackal MST – Parish Priest
  • Fr Solomon Okovido – Deacon

Singleton Parish Pastoral Council Members

  • Niamh Marzol

  • Chris King

  • Helen Rapp

  • Anthony Jarrett

Parish Office

  • Mrs Erica Janssen – Parish Secretary
  • Parish Office open Tuesday to Friday – 9am to 3pm.

Singleton Finance Council Members

  • Maree Hall

  • Felicity Pearce

  • Daniel Brooker

  • Gerard McMillan

  • Roger Fuller

Branxton Parish Pastoral Council Members

  • Craig Trunk

  • Stephanie Trunk

  • Lydia Gorczyca

  • Sallyanne Stanbridge

  • Peter Conroy

Branxton Finance Council Members

  • Ernie Bendeich

  • Joy Clarke

  • Alan Humphreys

  • Gail Jacobs

  • John Partridge

Fr Thomas Chirackal MST.

Parish Priest

Fr Thomas is from Kerala state in India. He belongs to The missionary society of St Thomas the Apostle (MST). He was ordained as a priest on 2 January 1981. After ordination he worked as a missionary in various dioceses in different parts of India. He then went to work in Kigoma diocese in Tanzania for 9 years. After returning to India in 2002, he served as the regional director of Alphonsa region of MST, President of Sangli Mission Society and Episcopal Vicar in the diocese of Kalyan. Later he was elected councillor of the Society.

At the invitation of Bishop Bill Wright, he came to serve in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in 2015. Before becoming the Parish Priest of Singleton and Branxton in 2018, he served in Blackbutt North and Wallsend-Shortland parishes as Assistant Priest. He also serves the Diocese as member of the Council of Priests and College of Consulters/Trustees.

Fr Solomon Okovido

Deacon

Hailing from Nigeria, Solomon was raised in a deeply religious family. While at school, Solomon joined the alter boys’ association in his parish and started serving at mass. It was during this time that he was inspired by his parish priest, Reverend Father Andrew Obinyan. Fr Andrew encouraged Solomon to join the Catholic Charismatic Movement of the parish and the Legion of Mary Society. After graduating from secondary school, he learnt of the Missionaries of God’s Love (MGL) religious order and thought this would be a fantastic opportunity to serve in foreign missions. As part of the MGL, Solomon travelled to Australia in February 2014.  During a brief pause in his journey to the priesthood, Solomon studied and worked as a chef in Brisbane, while also being a community support worker. He was very much engaged in the diocesan parish community where he lived, and thanks to the help of a spiritual director, rediscovered his calling to become a priest. At the end of 2016, Solomon found his home in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

Following a year spent working at the St Benedict’s Inner Newcastle parishes, Solomon studied theology at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd. He graduated in early 2021 and was raised to the Order of the Diaconate on 4 December 2021 at St Patrick’s Church in Singleton. He delighted to be given this privilege to serve the good people of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. Canonically, this transitional period generally lasts for six months. Following this, Solomon will be able to achieve his dream of becoming a priest. In the meantime, though, he is excited to marry and baptise those in our community, serve the people of Singleton, and proclaim the good word.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis is the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church, a title he holds ex officio as Bishop of Rome, and sovereign of Vatican City. He chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III, who reigned in the 8th century.

Bishop Bill Wright

Bishop Bill Wright was nominated as Bishop of Maitland on 4 April 2011 and ordained and installed in Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hamilton, on 15 June 2011. He is a member of the Australian Bishops’ Commissions for Church Ministry and for Ecumenical and Inter-faith Relations, co-chair of the National Committee for Professional Standards, a member of the Truth Justice and Healing Council and the NSW Bishops’ delegate on the NSW Professional Standards Liaison Panel. He is the eighth Bishop of the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese.Bishop William (Bill) Wright died Saturday 13 November, having succumbed to lung cancer at the age of 69.