Until 1912, people from Darra and Corinda normally had to travel by train or buggy to celebrate the Holy Mass at St Patrick’s Church, Goodna, a fine stone church which was opened and blessed by Bishop O’Quinn in 1881. Fr Hayes was appointed the Parish Priest at Goodna in 1892 and in the early 1900’s, he travelled to Corinda to celebrate Mass once a month.
There were around 18 Catholic families living in the Corinda, Sherwood, Oxley and Darra suburbs in 1911. A representative from each family formed a strong committee to finance the new Corinda Church. Within twelve months, the committee had raised the sum of £1,200 and Fr Hayes had the plans prepared though died before the Church was completed.
On the first Sunday in November 1912, St Joseph’s Church Corinda was blessed and dedicated by the Coadjutor-Archbishop of Brisbane, Dr James Duhig. Fr Stapleton was appointed to Goodna as Parish Priest and celebrated one Mass at Goodna and one Mass at Corinda each Sunday.
The Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart founded in Issoudun, France in 1874 by Fr Jules Chevalier msc, came to Corinda in 1917 where a fine capacious School had been constructed on the Church property. The convent was built adjacent to the Church.
As the Goodna parish expanded, and it became necessary for two Sunday Masses at Corinda, Fathers Gallagher and Moloney serviced the Corinda Church from Mary Immaculate Church on Ipswich Road, Annerly.
Fr P. J. Murphy from Ipswich was appointed the first Parish Priest at Corinda in 1923. Catholics from the Darra area continued to travel to Corinda at great inconvenience. In order to receive Holy Communion, it was necessary to fast from midnight and sometimes it would be 11am before the Darra Catholics returned from Mass. Fr Murphy undertook to build a Church at Darra.
The land, gradually was the focus on which the Church and School were to be built. However, the depression and lack of funds at the time had delayed the completion until it was completed thirteen years later.
Mass at Darra was first celebrated in a hall near the corner of Balfour and Winslow Streets. This hall was removed to the Augustinian land at Mt Ommaney to establish a community there.
Mass was then celebrated in William and Agnes Brady’s house which adjoins the present School on Darra Station Road.
An architect, Mr J P Donohue was appointed to design the plans for the Darra Church and School. Mr E Reid the nominated builder commenced the project using brick and concrete, materials that were made locally. The centre of the building, which would seat 120 people, was to be used as the Church, while two spacious glassed in verandah’s would serve as the School.
THE OFFICIAL OPENING
His Grace Archbishop James Duhig officially dedicated the Church on 4th April 1937 at 3pm. His Grace processed through a guard of honour of members of the Corinda Branch of H.A.C.B Society (Hibernians) in regalia, the Sacred Heart sodality ladies with their red ribbons and medals and the Children of Mary in their blue cloaks and white veils.
Priests present for the ceremony were:
Very Rev. Dean W Cashman, P. P. South Brisbane
Rev. Fr A T Herring S. M.
Rev. Fr D A Dee, Adm, New Farm
Rev. Fr J D Kelly, P. P. Ipswich Road
Rev. Fr J Murphy P. P. North Ipswich
Rev. Fr J Flanagan P. P. Moorooka
Rev. Fr F O’Beirne P. P. Graceville
Rev. Fr T O’Connor
Rev. Fr B O’Shea
Rev. Fr P J Murphy P. P. Corinda
At the conclusion of the ceremony over 200 persons assembled inside the buildings, where Father Murphy welcomed His Grace, thanking him at the same time for having celebrated Mass and for the important work he had just completed.
The Catholic Leader dated 8th April, 1937 quotes the Archbishop’s reply:
“His Grace said that in the completion of their Church and School he had found the fulfilment of a long standing wish of his own, and he felt perfectly sure that many of his hearers had the same feeling”…
OUR LADY OF THE SACRED HEART DARRA
On St Patrick’s Day, 17th March 1952 Darra became a separate Parish with Fr. W J Livingston appointed as the first Parish Priest.
As there was no presbytery at the time, Father converted one side of the Church, which until this time had been used as the School, into his living quarters. Concerts were often held in the Church to raise funds for new classrooms at the School. Fr. Livingston had purchased the old Richlands Church and some army huts from Wacol to provide class rooms for the ever growing population at the Darra School, due to post-war migration settlement in the district.
The new parishioners eagerly showed their support for the new Parish Priest and working bees of enthusiastic workers helped provide the much needed class rooms.
Fr. Livingston was Parish Priest for 18 years until Fr. Daniel Carroll was appointed Parish Priest at Darra on 24th September, 1970. His dedication and zeal guided the Darra Parishioners through the expansion of the Parish and the building of the new Church at Jindalee and the new School at Darra.
The Darra Catholic Community has used the Chapel for worship for eighty-two years. The Chapel was originally built in 1937, and since then has served parishioners, and their children, who represented a rich history of a mix of original and new settlers to this country. The demographics spanned many historical drivers of immigration-often being caused through displacement in their own country. The existing Chapel no longer had sufficient capacity to accommodate student and worship needs, and has been doubled to a capacity of 480 persons.
As a result, with the support of past and present faithful parishioners, an expansion of the Chapel was completed. On Sunday the 31st July, the Solemn Dedication Ceremony was celebrated by His Grace the Archbishop of Brisbane, the Reverend John Bathersby in the company of the Very Reverend Kenneth Howell, Dean – Cathedral of St Stephen, Fr Daniel Carroll, Parish Priest, Fr Peter Conroy, Fr Ray Kerney other invited dignitaries, members of the Parish community and the general public.
THE TWELVE APOSTLES JINDALEE
Up until 1972, the Catholic residents of the rapidly growing Centenary suburbs were served by the Darra Church. Towards the end of 1969 there were approximately sixty Catholic families living in Jindalee eager to have a mass centre in the area. Trevor and Margaret Harrison offered their home and so Fr Livingston along with assistant priest Fr. Pat Cassiday offered two Masses every Sunday 8am and 5:30pm. In 1970 Bob and Jean White offered their home and the Masses continued there until the opening of the Church.
In 1970, Fr. Livingston was appointed to Moorooka parish so in September of that same year Fr. Daniel Carroll was appointed Parish Priest of Darra-Jindalee. Plans for a church then got under way. Although the small but enthusiastic Catholic community had been fundraising it was not enough to build a church. Archbishop Duhig had previously purchased land where the “All Sports” centre is now located. Development indicated that this location was not central to the growth, so the land was sold and the present location of nine acres was purchased. In July 1972 Fr. Carroll wrote to his parishioners introducing a Planned Giving Programme and building began. He paid tribute to the parishioners who had supported the project from its beginning.
Fr Carroll noted that the Crucifix mounted on the side wall of the Church was the same used when Pope Paul II celebrated the Bicentenary Mass at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney during his 1970 Papal visit.
The emblem on the front of the altar represents Christ (the large cross) and the Twelve Apostles (the twelve smaller crosses).
The architects A. Ian Ferrier and Assoc. were instructed to design a Church and hall and to build the hall first and use it as a Church until settlement of the area justified a larger Church.
On a very wet 10th of December 1972, Archbishop O’Donnell opened the “Church of the Twelve Apostles”. His Grace told the congregation at the first Mass that he had been keenly interested in the development of the area and new Parish complex.
Given that the area was increasing rapidly in numbers it was decided that the Church would need to accommodate the growth and needs of the community. With the plentiful support of past and present faithful parishioners, a new Church was built. On Sunday 4th September 2011, the Solemn Dedication Ceremony was celebrated by His Grace the Archbishop of Brisbane, the Reverend John Bathersby in the company of the Very Reverend Kenneth Howell, Dean – Cathedral of St Stephen, Fr Daniel Carroll, Parish Priest, Fr Peter Conroy, Fr Ray Kerney, Fr David King and other invited dignitaries, members of the Parish community and the general public.