Holy Cross Parish, Toowoomba
Contact: Fr Jim Cronin, Priest Director
Pastoral Presence: Sr Elizabeth Ryall rsm
|Phone:||07 4627 1139|
|Office Location:||27 Edith Street||Postal Address:||PO Box 28|
|Events:||Open Parish Meeting||1st Monday of each Month 7:30pm|
3rd Thursday of each Month
|After School Primary RE||Each Tuesday during School Terms
|Mass Times:||Miles Mass Times|
|Parish Contacts:||Contact Number|
|Priest Director - Fr Jim Cronin (Chinchilla)||07 4662 7031|
|Pastoral Presence - Sr Elizabeth Ryall rsm||07 4627 2216|
|Liturgy, Pastoral Council, Sacramental Team - Noreen Bourne||07 4627 1139|
|Care and Concern - Frances Gorry||07 4627 1296|
|Catholic Women's Group - Pam Fawcett||07 4627 1184|
|St Vincent de Paul - Yvonne McMahon||07 4627 1267|
Miles Parish History:
BEGINNINGS and GROWTH: Holy Cross Parish was established in 1948 to include Miles, Drillham, Condamine and Dulacca. Following a damaging world war young families were glad to settle down in a new environment to carve out a new life with high hopes. Miles already had a church and a Catholic school staffed by Josephite nuns with the pioneering spirit of their founder Blessed Mary MacKillop. Fr. Charles McDonald was the first Parish Priest and within ten years had erected new churches at Dulacca, Miles and Condamine, a new presbytery and a classroom block. The old church at Miles was moved to start a new life as St. Joseph's, Drillham. To finance this growth a planned giving programme was established in 1957, supported by loyal congregations which filled the churches for Sunday mass and overflowed them at Christmas and Easter. Hopes were high for a bright and secure future.
STABILITY but with TURBULENCE: From the 1960s Holy Cross developed into a typical Catholic Parish with a stable and reliable system of hierarchical control. The school reached its peak attendance of 130 in the early 70s but factors beyond our control were already beginning to impact on the parish. Improvement of the Warrego Highway was, ironically, one reason for the closure and sale of the Drillham church because it became much easier to drive to Miles. On the negative side the drought of 1965 decimated the dairy industry and led to the closure of the Miles butter factory. The beginning of a world-wide decline in loyalty to the Church, especially in affluent western societies, did not help the situation. This might have been a reaction to hierarchical control and a greater sense of power associated with affluence. Whatever the case, Vatican II with it's message of renewal, failed to stem the tide and by the mid 70s the decline in church attendance was obvious - in our parish as in the rest of Australia and other western societies.
DECLINE and CHALLENGE: The general decline in loyalty to the Church was a combination of a decline in vocations to the priesthood and religious life, a decline in mass attendance and support for the Church, and (locally) a decline in support for the parish school. Consequences were that the nuns had to leave in 1984, the school was forced to close in 1989 and we were left without a resident priest in 1996 and again in 2003 - a situation continuing for the foreseeable future. This combination of circumstances further weakens the parish so we are confronted by a challenge to maintain services to the faithful, to formulate our vision for the future and to move forward. To that end we have created a parish based work and leadership structure headed by a Chair, Co-Chair and Parish Executive, supported by the diocesan structure of a Priest Director/Visiting Priest located in Chinchilla. Currently we undertake thirty-three parish ministries through numerous hard-working volunteers, the crowning glory being our first RCIA programme through which we have guided five new Catholics into the fold. The country centers, Condamine and Dulacca, have taken the brunt of reduced services with only one mass per month. Both have taken up the challenge of running a Liturgy of the Word with Communion once a month to maintain services at the previous level. So we look to the future with hope and confidence in the Holy Spirit to lead us on.