Is it just the Neocat way of doing things, or an indication of Mendes’ regard for the community, that nothing was said regarding the circumstances of the newcomer’s predecessor, Joe Pelle, nor about Zavarese’s background. The community was disappointed that they were denied the opportunity to say their goodbyes.
After mass Mendes’ pastoral skills really shone forth when he bustled his new assistant out of the church, angrily remonstrating with community members who tried to welcome the young priest and engage him in conversation. Despite being invited repeatedly, none of the Neocats stayed for the last Sunday of the month morning tea.
Why The Secrecy?
The Perth Archdiocese website carries the information that Fr Miguel is "on missionary supply" (see here). It seems that he was ordained in Perth and spent some time as assistant priest at the Good Shepherd parish of Kelmscott (see Neocats In Perth).
The same source also reveals that Pelle is on placement in Papua New Guinea (see here).