Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit Province have served as chaplains in many different settings, including several who have served in support of Australian and allied soldiers in war time. Three friars became Prisoners of War in Singapore and returned to ministry in Australia after the war. Another served in Japan as part of the reconstruction efforts post-1945.

In an Australia which became increasingly multi-cultural in the 1950s, friars from Australia and overseas have stepped forward to support groups of new migrants to Australia and succeeding generations of families. These include Maltese, Croatian, Slovenian, Polish, Hungarian and Asian communities.

Since 1954, when Friars Paschal Chang and Leonard Hsu arrived from mainland China, the Franciscans have provided spiritual guidance and practical care to Chinese people who migrated from their homeland to settle in Sydney - and now to new generations born in Australia. 

Until his death in January 2013, Paschal maintained a devoted interest in this work. Communities of Chinese people gather regularly at the Asiana Centre (Ashfield) and other suburbs of Sydney for Mass and cultural events. Pastoral care is provided by Friar Martin Low, originally from Singapore; he is assisted by some diocesan priests, religious priests and sisters.

  • John Boyd-Boland serves as teacher/chaplain at Padua College, Kedron, Brisbane
  • Robert Carden serves as chaplain at Mount Lilydale Mercy College, Melbourne
  • Michael D'Cruz works as teacher/chaplain at St Joseph's Institution in Singapore
  • Bernie Thomas serves as tertiary chaplain to several universities in Auckland 
  • John Roberts assists a number of schools in the Diocese of Wollongong through retreats and liturgies
  • Martin Low serves as chaplain to the Chinese Catholic community of Sydney Archdiocese 
  • John Pickering serves as chaplain to the Spanish-speaking community and the Auslan Deaf community in the Diocese of Wollongong
  • Theophane Rush serves as chaplain to the elderly residents at Mercy Place, East Melbourne