About Our Pastor (See below for about the Assistant Priest)

Rev Fr James McCarthy

Father James McCarthy was appointed by Archbishop Anthony Fisher as the 9th Parish Priest of St Aloysius Cronulla for a term of 6 years, commencing from 1 July 2019.

About Fr James

Father James was born in 1982 and has been an ordained priest of the Archdiocese of Sydney since priestly ordination in 2009.

He was born and raised in the Inner West of Sydney, the 4th of six children of John and Christine McCarthy. After finishing high school in Summer Hill, he completed a Bachelor of Arts in history, politics and music at the University of Sydney, prior to undertaking seminary and theological studies in Sydney and later in Rome, being ordained a deacon in St Peter’s Basilica (2007) and a priest at St Mary’s Cathedral Sydney (2009).

He previously served in Cronulla for 10 months (2007-2008) as Deacon James (or more affectionately known as DJ) while also working for the preparations for World Youth Day Sydney 2008. He fondly remembers celebrating and coming to Cronulla in 2009 to celebrate his first Sunday Mass as a priest.

Fr James has served in various Sydney parishes as Assistant Priest or Parish Administrator (Mosman, Liverpool, Fairfield, Bonnyrigg Heights and Meadowbank) and has also served in various appointments as a Chaplain of the Australian Army. His ministerial experience includes extended periods in Italy, England, USA and various countries in the Middle East.

In addition to parish and army assignments, he is a Magistral Chaplain of the Order of Malta and an avid campaigner for the inclusion of people with disabilities in the life and mission of the Church. He serves on a variety of committees for the Archdiocese of Sydney, including as Treasurer of the Clergy Remuneration System and Chairman of the Clerical Medical Fund. He has post-graduate qualifications in dogmatic theology and business administration (not for profit) and has regularly lectured for Sydney Catholic Schools and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) in areas of sacramental theology and Jewish foundations of Christian ritual.  

He was a founding member of the Papal Bulls Catholic Cricket Club Sydney, and has played cricket at various levels for almost 30 years, being the top run scorer for the Papal Bulls 2nds team in the 2018-2019 season. He has also previously played rugby at school and university levels and played 3 seasons of American Football. He has also performed in various stage productions with Artes Christi Performing Arts in musicals and plays.

Fr James was born and bred as a Bulldogs Supporter, attending games as a young child with 4 generations of his family. He is still a passionate supporter and has considered the Sharks his 2nd team since previously living in the Shire, regularly attending NRL games with parishioners from various assignments. 

Fr James is overjoyed to be back in Cronulla. He looks forward to continuing to work alongside the strong team of lay leaders in the Parish to help bring the experience of the person of Jesus Christ to Cronulla through the mission of the worship of God, dynamic social outreach and contemporary, relevant and faithful Christian teaching. 

About Our Assistant Priest

Rev Fr Dr Rex Paulraj


Fr Rex commenced his assignment in Cronulla Parish as Assistant Priest in September 2023. Fr Rex grew up in Chennai (Madras), in the southern part of India. He was ordained a priest in 2003, then undertook Licentiate studies in Family Counselling and completed a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and Counselling in Rome. 

In 2011, Fr Rex was invited to work in Sydney as chaplain to Prince of Wales Hospital and then later also took on responsibilities for the Woollahra Catholic Parish as assistant priest and then later as parish administrator. He returned in India 2019 to build a new parish and then became Rector and Parish Priest of Holy Redeemer’s Basilica in Chennai for three years, before returning to serve in the Archdiocese of Sydney in 2023.