Our History

These excerpts were taken from The OLR Story (1996) and reprinted with permission from the parish.

Queensland had been a separate colony for only one year when James Quinn became the first bishop of the new diocese, covering the whole state with its sparse scattered population. St Stephen’s was the center of church life (no parishes were established) and priests were sent from there to mission stations. Archbishop Dunne took over in 1882 and by 1887 there were eight churches in Brisbane and 27 stations ‘having no church at present but attended at fixed dates’. Parts of the current parish surrounds were among the stations visited every three months.

The first Catholic church in our area was St Lawrence, Fig Tree Pocket, and Mass was also celebrated in the Pacey home at Brookfield. This was visited by priests from Sacred Heart Church, Rosalie, who also attended St Michael and All Souls (Toowong) and St Lawrence’s. Mass in private residences at Upper Brookfield, Pullenvale and Long Pocket continued as well.

The Jesuits arrived in Toowong in 1916 and for almost ten years ministered in an area covered by the present parishes of Toowong, Kenmore, Indooroopilly and St Lucia. The last three of these became a separate parish in 1924, and the first Catholic chuch in the Kenmore area was the original St Catherine’s on the corner of Grandview and Moggill roads.

Archbishop Duhig purchased the current OLR site in 1958, when the new parish of Kenmore, under the guidance of Fr Gerry Nichol, was cut off from Indooroopilly. In 1961, Fr  Tom Carroll came to the Kenmore parish and so began the rapid development of the parish we know today. A school and temporary church were opened in 1963. The school grew at an amazing rate, initially under the guidance of the Brigidine sisters from Indooroopilly. Soon the need for a new, larger church was painfully obvious and the efforts of Fr Carroll ensured that sufficient money was raised so that the new church was opened in July 1969.

In 1993 a steering committee was formed and a master plan was developed to build St. Catherine’s at Moggill. The new Mass and Community Centre was opened on 22 May 1995 by Archbishop Bathersby. 

The timeline below gives an out outline of our parish development, but says nothing at all of the strong community spirit that has grown. Ours is still a very large parish indeed. In his foreword to The OLR Story, Fr Neil writes :

‘Often imperceptibly, perhaps at  times unwittingly, OLR has been transforming itself into the kind of people-oriented parish envisioned by Vatican II. Now is the time to name that identity and to celebrate it.’


Brisbane became a diocese, Bishop Quinn first Bishop



Opening of St Laurence's, Fig Tree Pocket



Masses advertised in The Australian  at Indooroopilly and Seventeen Mile Rocks


Catholic Directory lists Mass Stations at Gold Creek,Brookfield and MacAlroy's at Moggill





Rosalie parish looked after St Laurence's and St Michael and all Souls Toowong


Toowong became separate parish under the Jesuits and takes over this area


Indooroopilly becomes separate parish which includes this area



Closure of St Laurence's



Opening of St Catherine's, Pullenvale



Archbishop buys land at Kenmore



Father Gerry Nichol arrives
First public mass at the house/church - 2 April
Father Tom Carroll appointed Parish Priest - September
Five children receive their first communion
First Marriage in OLR parish
First Baptism in OLR parish



St Vincent de Paul starts
Foundation stone of church/school laid - 3 November



School opens - Official opening 3 March.
Grades 1-4 and Pre-school. 



School Grades 1-5; New Classrooms and Swimming Pool



School Grades 1-6; French School

Our Lady of the Rosary Kenmore
Our Lady of the Rosary Church - opened 1969


School Grades 1-7


Opening of Church - 13 July


Mother de Montford leaves


Father Egan assistant priest


Ladies' Conference of St Vincent de Paul starts
25th anniversary of Father Carroll's ordination


Father Bill O'Shea assistant priest


Father Carroll receives recognition at New Year Honours List



First RCIA
Paul McGrath becomes principal of School.
Last of the religious sisters leave.



Father Flynn arrives



Silver Jubilee of Parish



New School wing - December.
Sale of St Catherine's



Father McKeon arrives - January.
Father Wagner replaces Father Carroll - August



Father Flynn leaves for Adelaide



Thirtieth anniversary of the ordination of Father Wagner. 
Father McKeon leaves for Redcliffe. Father Michael Campbell arrives


Father Neil Byrne replaces Father Wagner
St Catherine's Mass & Community Centre opened in Moggill on 22nd May by Archbishop Bathersby


Father Francis Onwunali replaces Father Byrne


Fr Mark Franklin replaces Father Francis


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