Parish’s Name: 

St Joseph’s, Mungindi

Church’s Name:

  • Mungindi: St Joseph’s (built approx. 1908)
  • Boomi: St Patrick’s
  • Garah: Our Lady Help of Christians
  • Weemelah: St Anthony’s (discontinued)
  • Station at Watercourse.

Church’s Address:

Bucknell Street

Date Parish established:

1914 (formerly administered from Bingara 1882 and Moree 1889)

Priests in the Parish (names and years):

  • 1915-1918       Fr Sam Burchell
  • 1919                Fr Laurence Mahoney
  • 1919-1920       Fr Sam Burchell
  • 1921                Fr Thomas Stephenson
  • 1922-1927       Fr Laurence Mahoney
  • 1928                Fr S O’Brien
  • 1929-1930       Fr Laurence Mahoney
  • 1931                Mr N Tuttle
  • 1932                Fr L Mahoney
  • 1932-1936       Fr Patrick McDermott
  • 1937-1939       John P O’Connor
  • 1940-1957       Fr Eammon Rohan
  • 1958-1962       Fr Laurie Cosgrove
  • 1963                Fr Frances J Kelly
  • 1963-1967       Fr Clarence A. Fisher
  • 1968-1973       Fr C Harry Leis
  • 1974-1979       Fr Anthony Castelli
  • 1980                Fr William Dowd
  • 1981-1985       Fr Barry Bell
  • 1986-1988       Fr John Curran
  • 1989-1992       Fr Peter Kneipp
  • 1993-1999       Fr W Dowd
  • 2000                Administered from Moree

Parish Associates:

Parish History 

The major part of the North-West was originally administered from the Parish of Bingara, which began in 1882 with Fr Salvador as Parish Priest. Bingara covered Manilla, Barraba, Horton, Warialda, Gravesend, Yetman, Coolatai, Wallangra, Gramen, Boggabilla, Mungindi and Moree. Most, if not all, of the Priests were Italians and the then Bishop of Armidale, Bishop Torregiana, was also Italian.

Moree became a Parish in 1889 and took with it Mungindi and Boggabilla. Father Lloyd, well noted for his boxing prowess, came to Mungindi once a month prior to its becoming a Parish in its own right.

The official date given for the founding of Mungindi Catholic Parish was 1914. St Joseph’s Church, Mungindi was probably opened between 1906 and 1910. There was no foundation stone. The first Parish Priest of Mungindi was Fr Sam Burchell and he lived at the back of the church building which was gradually added on to. Every three months, he travelled by horse and packhorse, east along the Barwon River as far as Yetman. The Lock Adair homestead was one of his Mass Stations. Later on, he purchased a motorbike. Fr Mahoney was the first Priest to own a car, which was a T-model Ford. He also had the first wireless in Mungindi.

Other churches in the Parish were: Sacred Heart, Boggabilla c. 1900; St Patrick’s, Boomi c. 1912; Our Lady Help of Christians, Garah c. May 1938; and St Dominic’s Lock Adair c. October 1940. It is thought that this building, a church hall, was completed in 1938, and was used for dances run mainly for the troops stationed in the vicinity. Fr J P O’Connor was there when Bishop Coleman opened the Hall, Our Lady of Fatima, North Star, February 1955, and St Anthony’s Church, Weemelah.

Mass was said at ‘Bexley’ the Sykes family home on the Watercourse. It also used to be said at ‘Coreel’ (Blair Hill) and later at the Dunstans’ home at ‘Gundabloui.’

The School and Presbytery at Mungindi were built in the 1930s by Frank Mahoney, Fr Mahoney’s brother. The bell at the Church was donated in memory of Rose Sarquis by her family in the early 1940s. Fr O’Connor often made the Sarquis boys climb the tower and check that it was well attached. Kevn Sarquis said Fr O’Connor reckoned it was their job as their family had donated it.

No further information has been provided at this stage. Please forward any information to the Catholic Schools Office

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