Saturday 6.00pm
Sunday 10.30am

Sunday 8.30am

2nd Sunday 6.00pm

4th Sunday 6pm

Sacrament of Reconciliation

Saturday 5.15 - 5.45pm

Sunday 8.00 - 8.25am
Mass Times
St Mary's Catholic Parish
A Roman Catholic Community in the Melbourne Archdiocese
St. Mary's - Castlemaine  |  St. Brigid's - Maldon  |  St. Anne's - Newstead  |  St. Laurence's - Sandon
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2011 St Mary's Catholic Parish, Castlemaine Victoria
A brief history...
In 1852, German priest Doctor Henry Backhaus arrived to take charge of all Catholics between Kyneton and the Murray. Dr Backhaus made frequent trips to Castlemaine from Bendigo and celebrated fortnightly Mass at the Gold Commissioner's camp (near Gaulton St) from April 25th 1852. Not until 1853 was the first temporary chapel built, by Father Stack of Kyneton, in the grounds of thepresent church. It was a flimsy affair, of wooden slabs and a canvas top which flapped "as a gale" during the service. Father Thomas Barrett, in 1854, became Castlemaine's first resident priest and the diggers showed their appreciation by adding a slab and cancas room to the chapel. In 1854 Castlemaine became a separate parish (extending as far as Avoca).

The wooden church remainedin service until 1857 when Fr Smyth announced plans for "a magnificent cathedral in the Elizabethan style". Eminent sculptor Frederick Poepel was chosen as architect, and the first stone laid on September 13th 1857. Bishop Goold dedicated the work to the Blessed Virgin under the title of the Holy Name of Mary and the first portion of the new church was opened by the Bishop in January 1858. A small brick presbytery was built soon after. In 1864 a fine marble altar was installed and in 1866 the transept and chancel were blessed. The adornment of the church continued with the main three windows over the altar installed in 1890 and an oak pulpit a few years later. The two side altars were added in 1899.

Little was done to St Mary's for the next hundred years other than basic repairs and the changes wrought by Vatican Two. In the late 1990s however, large scale restoration work got under way, under Fr Michael Kalka, and proceeded in earnest with the arrival of Fr Des Magennis in 1999. The major restoration project saw the slate roof renewed, rendering replaced inside and out, major work to the substructure and floors, new carpet, rewiring, heating, lighting and sound system, paving and more. A marble altar from Cabrini hospital was installed and the church painted inside and out. Work was completed in October 2000 and the church was blessedby Bishop O'Connell on March 11th 2001.

St Mary's Parish has been blessed by the selfless dedication of 20 priests from our humble beginnings in 1852. Many pioneer priests arrived straight from the seminaries of Ireland, responding to the call for volunteers for the Australian colonies. A great many died young, their health battered by the famine in Ireland and the vast terrain and harsh conditions of their goldfield ministries. We owe a great debt and offer them our heartfelt gratitude.
Parish Priests from 1854
Priests Name

Fr T Barrett
Fr Patrick Smyth
Fr P Kavanagh
Fr P Moore
Fr Henry Allen
Fr M Murphy
Fr J O'Neill
Fr P O'Reilly
Fr W O'Farrell
Fr H Donohue
Fr T Considine
Fr P Power
Fr M Toumey
Fr E Fennessy
Fr J McLaren
Fr P Jeffery
Fr L Halloran
Fr M Kalka
Fr D Magennis
Fr A Tuazon
Fr C De Silva *
Fr A Doran
Fr W Riad
Sisters of Mercy...
The Sisters of Mercy were founded in Dublin, Ireland in 1831 by the venerable Catherine McAuley and the order grew rapidly throughout the English-speaking world. The first Sisters to arrive in Australia founded a convent in Perth, WA in 1846.
On January 20th 1905 Sisters Mary Genevieve Buckley, Aloysius McMenimen, Columbia Kenny and Gerard Connell travelled to Castlemaine by train from Kyneton, where they were met by Fr O'Neill and driven to the convent for a luncheon prepared by the ladies of the parish. On the following Monday, the Sisters took charge of St Mary's school which they administered for the following 79 years.
The Sisters of Mercy have a rich tradition of service to our community, which continues to this day through Sister Kath. To all the Sisters, past and present, we say thank you for enriching our lives and the life of our parish.
St Mary's, Castlemaine
Appointed    Departed

17.02.1854     29.09.1856
11.10.1856     26.06.1864
10.07.1864     15.01.1865
26.02.1865     00.00.1870
14.06.1870     00.00.1888
30.06.1888     24.06.1900
08.07.1900     09.02.1908
17.04.1910     15.07.1917
22.08.1917     15.09.1923
24.05.1925     23.08.1931
23.05.1934     24.04.1935
00.00.1937     00.00.1944
15.11.1944     03.12.1953
03.12.1953     18.04.1954
18.04.1954     08.09.1965
01.11.1959     17.12.1967
20.01.1968     20.01.1993
20.01.1993     06.01.1999
06.01.1999     07.01.2009
07.01.2009     07.01.2010
07.01.2010     03.01.2011

12.01.2011     31.07.2014
01.09.2014     Present
Text from "St Mary's Parish 150 Years" commemorative booklet, thanks to Lynda Doyle & Kevin Jenkins.

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