Fr Augustine Grech mssp and Fr Peter Paul Borda mssp arrived in Australia, August 1948. They settled in Carlton Victoria and from there reached out to the Australian Church, seeking to be immersed in this new reality. In the early years, Augustine Grech wrote to a number of Australian bishops offering to minister in their diocese.
As the number of missionaries grew, ministry was offered from a number of parishes: Swanboume and Victoria Park in Western Australia, North Sunshine and Hoppers Crossing North in Victoria, Horsley Park and Rozelle in New South Wales. These parishes became centres of outreach to the various migrant communities as Paulists ministered among youth and children, supported families and the elderly, visited hospitals and prisons and ministered as chaplains in parish primary and secondary colleges.
The House of Formation in Wantirna South Victoria was opened in 1971 to train new missionaries. It soon became a centre for young people, introducing them to our charism and spirituality, as well as functioning as a retreat centre offering a service for people from surrounding parishes. In order to help promote our missionary ideal, Paulists joined with the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, ministering to missionaries in transition — going to or returning from mission countries. Today the retreat ministry is continued with the assistance of members of the Focolare movement.
Various parishioners and friends have come together to share in the charism and missionary activity of the Paulist Missionaries, forming a lay-mssp group and a Young Paulist group. Since 2013 a number of parishioners have travelled to the Philippines to join Paulist Missionaries in their ministry among the poor and the needy.
In Victoria and New South Wales, the Paulist Missionaries took on the role of chaplains to Maltese, Italian, South American and other new migrants – the MSSP houses became centres of outreach to people in need of various types of assistance.
In a multi-cultural Australian society, Paulist Missionaries continue to take on the role of bridge builders between people from various cultural backgrounds. They also give witness by living the Good News of Jesus Christ among people of diverse faiths and help the Australian Church to live its missionary calling by continuing to give witness to the Gospel and reaching out to peoples in mission countries.