Our Pastoral Team
Fr. Stephen Bliss (ofm)
I am a Franciscan Friar who joined the Ipswich Catholic community in mid 2016. I have previously ministered in parishes throughout Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales. I have also ministered to those in formation (at seminary) and in Administration of the Order. I enjoy parish ministry as it is an opportunity to journey with parishioners in their faith and for me to be inspired and challenged by their Gospel living.
I try and follow the simple way that St. Francis of Assisi lived the Gospel of Jesus, and in my life I give witness to the Franciscan values of joy, peace and respect. Whilst here at Ipswich, I help in whatever way I can in the Sacramental life of the Community.
Hello, I am John Hong. I have been appointed to the Ipswich Catholic Community for 3 years. Since I arrived here, I have been involved mostly in the visitation to people in Nursing Homes as well as those who are house bound. I travel from Rosewood to Leichhardt, Ipswich, North Ipswich, Eastern Heights, Brassal and Yamanto.
I am excited and privileged to be part of this community and I believe that the Ipswich Catholic Community is a caring community to all those they encounter. May the merciful face of God be shinning in this corner of the world.
Fr. John Hong
Fr. Nicholas Okafor
I am from Nigeria, West Africa. I came to Australia in 2010 as a Seminarian. I studied for 7 years in the Seminaries in Nigeria and 4 years in Banyo Seminary Australia. Before I joined the Seminary in Nigeria, I studied Diploma in Library and Information Science. I was ordained a Catholic Priest in July 19, 2014. My first appointment after Priestly Ordination was Surfers Paradise Parish, Gold Coast. There I served as an Associate Pastor and Administrator for almost 3 years. In July 2017, I was appointed Associate Pastor of Ipswich Catholic Community.
Ipswich Catholic Community is a happy and welcoming Community. I am grateful to be part of this Community. I pray that the period of my stay here will enrich me with knowledge and experience that will help me in my future ministry. As we journey together as People of God, may we continue to be witnesses of the Gospel message bringing love, joy and hope to each other.
I enjoy listening to music, soccer, reading and writing.
As the Pastoral Associate for the Ipswich Catholic Community I have the pleasure of being involved and working with a variety of people in different areas of parish ministry. The majority of my work involves co-ordinating and working with the Priests, other members of staff, and most of all, a generous group of volunteers who ensure that the pastoral and liturgical life of the parish is presented in creative and innovative ways. Throughout the year it is also my pleasure to offer families and young children the opportunity to participate in programs to celebrate the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion. These celebrations are a highlight for the Parish and it is always great to meet new families who are committed to passing on the faith to their children.
Another delightful part of my work is to welcome adults who seek to become part of the Catholic faith through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Each Easter we celebrate this moment with people from all walks of life. No day is ever the same in pastoral ministry and it is always an honour to walk with people in their joys and sorrows, achievements and disappointments. I look forward to continuing in the role as Pastoral Associate, serving the people of Ipswich Catholic Community.