Mission and Pastoral Council (SMPC)

A key recommendation of Go Forth – Review of the strategic, consultative and administrative structures of the Diocese of Sandhurst (December 2020) was the establishment of a Diocesan Pastoral Council to be named the Sandhurst Mission and Pastoral Council.  

Members of the Sandhurst Mission and Pastoral Council April 2023 - April 2026

An announcement from Bishop Shane Mackinlay

Over the last year, we have been preparing and consulting for the establishment of the Sandhurst Mission and Pastoral Council. This culminated with our diocesan assembly in February 2023, when over 300 people gathered in Shepparton. I am very grateful to all those who participated in this preparation and consultation, those who attended the assembly, and those who generously offered themselves for membership of the Council. There are many signs that God’s spirit continues to be active in our Diocese.

This week, a membership panel participated with me in a process of discernment about the expressions of interest that have been received. In light of that, I now have great pleasure in announcing the membership of the Sandhurst Mission and Pastoral Council for the coming three years.

Joining me and Fr Joe Taylor VG on the Council are: 

Goulburn Valley Deanery

Mrs Alana Brennan, St Augustine’s Parish, Kyabram

Mrs Jobelle Collier, St Brendan’s Parish, Shepparton

Mrs Angela Finn, St Augustine’s Parish, Kyabram

Reverend Father Jackson Saunders, St Brendan’s Parish, Shepparton and St Mary’s Parish, Dookie 


North Eastern Deanery

Mrs Gabrielle Downie, St Joseph’s Parish, Benalla

Mr Stephen McKinley, Sacred Heart Parish, Wodonga

Mr Michael McLinden, Sacred Heart Parish, Wodonga

Reverend Father Vijay Bandanadam ALCP/OSS, St Joseph’s Parish, Benalla 


Western Deanery

Mr Mick Chalkley, St Therese’s Parish, Kennington

Mr Miggy Podosky, St Kilian’s Parish, Bendigo

Mrs Christine Sebire, St Mary’s Parish, Echuca

Reverend Father Stephen Bolling, St Liborius Parish, Eaglehawk and St Mary’s Parish, Inglewood 


Bishop’s Appointments

Mr Paul Desmond, Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Education Sandhurst Ltd

Mr Jean-Marie Mupenda, St Brendan’s Parish, Shepparton


I congratulate these women and men of faith and I look forward to commissioning the Council at the Annual Chrism Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Tuesday 4 April at 11.00 a.m.

The first meeting of the Council will be held in Shepparton on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 April.

Please pray for this new Council and for our diocese as we seek to become “a more missionary and pastoral Church” (from the ‘Prayer for the Sandhurst Mission and Pastoral Council’).


More about SMPC 

  default Statutes (345 KB)

  default Final Report (3.03 MB)

  default Volunteer Position Description for Membership of the Sandhurst Mssion and Pastoral Council (95 KB)

  default Responsibilities of Volunteer Form (98 KB)


Jill Doncovio, Executive Assistant to the Bishop of Sandhurst  

by phone 03 5445 3630, or  

by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 


PayerFront Image


The Statutes for the Sandhurst Mission and Pastoral Council are based on:  

The Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church  

  pdf Go Forth Report (508 KB)  

 The Decrees of the 5th Plenary Council of Australia 

  pdf The Sandhurst Diocesan Synthesis for the Synod on Synodality  (511 KB)

A Year of Preparation and Consultation for the SMPC
27 April 2022 to 27 April 2023

27 April 2022 - Year of Preparation and Consultation began

15 February 2023 - Diocesan Assembly, in Shepparton

10 March 2023 - Expressions of interest close

24 March 2023  - Members of the SMPC announced

4 April 2023     - Members of the SMPC commissioned (Chrism Mass)

27 April 2023   - First meeting of the SMPC (Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel)

The Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst has a history of collaborative governance and leadership, including the establishment of a Diocesan Pastoral Council. The shape, form and function of this leadership, including the Council has varied according to the needs of the time. In our current time, the Sandhurst Mission and Pastoral Council is understood as an expression of synodality in the life and mission of the local Church of Sandhurst. 

  Themes which emerged from the fifty-two consultation meetings held in churches, halls and schools across the Diocese betwen July and December 2022 in preparation…
A key milestone of our preparation and consultation for the SMPC was the Diocesan Assembly on 15 February 2023.  
A prayer for the Sandhust Mission and Pastoral Council is available for download. 
Since they were commissioned by Bishop Shane in July 2022, Dr Chris Cotter and Ruth Lawlor have facilitated over 48 preparation and consultation meetings.
A key recommendation in the 2020 Go Forth Review of the Diocese was that Bishop Shane Mackinlay establish a Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Council. 
A Preparation and Consultation Plan to establish the SMPC is available for download. 
With the release of Interim Report on the consultation Phase of the Sandhurst Mission and Pastoral Council (SMPC)  Ruth Lawlor reflects on her encounters with parishioners…