Making a difference – Fr Pierluigi Passoni

Fr Pierluigi Passoni is an Assistant Priest at St Mary’s Cathedral.

A priest for more than four years, Fr Pierluigi has a strong academic background. He admits to being in the seminary for ‘quite a while’ and then university. “It’s only in the past few years that studying has not been part of my life.”

Fr Pierluigi attended Chester Hill’s Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary of the Neocatechumenal Way and was ordained by Cardinal Pell in 2012.

“My first placement was in Villawood then to Liverpool, a fairly big parish. Then six months ago, I was appointed to the Cathedral as one of the Assistant Priests. It is our role to help cover the spiritual needs of the Cathedral parish and congregation.”

The Cathedral is a busy place with three Masses every day during the week and two sessions of confessions each day Monday to Friday.

“Apart from being attached to the Cathedral, I also act as Assistant Priest for Darlinghurst Sacred Heart Parish. This parish used to be a big and important parish but it is now reduced in numbers and activities since most of the buildings which were part of the Parish have been repurposed for the Notre Dame medical campus.

“Also a number of people in the area now find it easier to come to the Cathedral. But it is a nice church and parish community with a Mass on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and Confessions before Mass on Saturday but of course it is not as busy as the Cathedral.”

Fr Pierluigi admits to enjoying hearing Confession, “But not all the time – a huntsman spider in the confessional is not very nice!”

Fr Pierluigi says what he does enjoy most is talking to people plus he enjoys very much the Masses and Vespers with the beautiful choir.

“Often there are a lot of tourists in the Cathedral but you still get to recognise some faces and a chance to have a chat. It’s a nice Cathedral community even though there are many more people who come irregularly or just to Mass on Sunday. Also many people visiting Sydney like to visit the Cathedral and attend Mass. Thankfully we tend to have a group of people who are the core parish community.

“I do not know how long I will be attached to the Cathedral. As a priest, we are trained to prepare for a range of career options. So you never know what will come up, everything is training for what comes next…”

“I know I would enjoy a parish as a priest serving the people, just getting to know them. In a sense the Cathedral is a bit different because with so many people passing by there is not always the same sort of bond. But it is just different.”