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Tuesday, 18 June 2013 11:01

St Pauls Books and Gifts Centre opens in Parramatta

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St Pauls Books & Gifts Centre in Parramatta is officially open for business. The centre is a retail outlet of the St Pauls international group, which is engaged in the publication and sales of books, CDs, DVDs, gift items, icons and greeting cards for adults, teenagers and children.

Fr Nestor Candado ssp said on the day the centre opened, their first customer was a woman who said she had been waiting since 9am. "She said, 'I heard you were opening in Parramattaand wanted to be here on the very first day!'"

The centre is owned and operated by the Society of St Paul, which was founded in 1914 by Fr James Alberione. James was a visionary who realised that the century in which he was living would be one of rapid development, particularly in communication, which would see the world become a global village. 

In the spirit of St Paul the Apostle, as father, teacher and the inspiration of their mission, he set out to bring the message of salvation to all peoples, with the specific purpose of disseminating that message through press, radio, movies, TV and any other means of communication which may become available in the future. 

After a private Mass and blessing of the shop facilities on 21 May by the priests of the Society of St Paul, with all those who have assisted to bring the dream to reality; the doors opened on the morning of Wednesday 22 May 2013. 

The Provincial Superior of the Society of St Paul, Fr Ruben Areno ssp, was on hand to personally welcome the first wave of eager shoppers. 

Among the first customers were Michael and Lucille Wilson, parishioners at St Bernadette’s Parish, Castle Hill, who were purchasing a gift for their granddaughter’s Confirmation. “I have been waiting for a shop like this to open in Parramatta since Pelligrini’s closed,” Lucille said.

The store stocks a wide range of educational material and devotional items. There are rows of books and DVDs, medals, prayer cards and statuary. All are easily grouped and neatly displayed on the crisp timber shelves and metal racks. 

Fr Nestor Candado ssp explained that they have featured [the Parramatta] diocesan patron, St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, with a special display case stocked with devotional items and prayer books. 

On the first floor above the Books and Gifts Centre is the Chapel of St Mary MacKillop. The chapel will open this month after a Mass celebrated by Bishop Anthony Fisher op and concelebrated by priests of the Society of St Paul. 

From 24 June 2013, Mass will be celebrated in the chapel on weekdays at 1pm.

St Pauls Centre opening hours: Monday to Friday – 9.30am to 5pm; Saturday – 10am to 2pm.

Address: 238 Church Street, Parramatta.

Tel: (02) 9126 8912.

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

Order online: www.stpauls.com.au

(Group photo, from left: Fr Nestor Candado SSP, Noel Lobrio, Mel Legaspi, Lina Gonzales, Ray Legaspi and Fr Ruben Areno ssp.)

This article, written by Virginia Knight, was first published in the June 2013 edition of Catholic Outlook, the magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta.