On 3 December 2005, Monsignor Brian Rayner OAM was appointed the fourth Parish Priest of St Catherine’s. Mgr Rayner brought a wealth of practical experience and leadership, having been the Archdiocesan Chancellor and Vicar General, and also Catholic Principal Chaplain in the Australian Navy for more than two decades.
Fr Rayner was ordained on 20 October 1973 (the same day as the opening of the Sydney Opera House) by Archbishop James Carroll. He initially worked at the parishes in Eastwood and Brighton-le-Sands before Cardinal Freeman requested he serve as a chaplain in the Naval reserves. He took up full time Naval Chaplaincy in 1983.
In 1996 Fr Rayner was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for excellence in naval services. On 21 June 2001, Fr Rayner was made a Prelate of Honour (Monsignor) to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II. In April 2003, Cardinal George Pell appointed Mgr Rayner as Chancellor, Vicar General and and Moderator of the Curia of the Archdiocese of Sydney, where he served until May 2005.