St Mary's Parish, Warwick
Contact: Fr Franco Filipetto, Administrator
|Phone:||07 4661 1033|
|Fax:||07 4632 8262|
|Office Location:||81 Percy Street||Postal Address:||PO Box 118|
9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday to Friday
|Events:||Warwick Parish Groups & Activities|
St Mary's Church, Warwick
Saturday - Reconciliation
|Our Lady of Dolours Church, Greymare|
|Our Lady of Fatima Church, Karara|
|Sacred Heart Church, Deuchar|
|The Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Gladfield|
|Parish Contacts:||Contact Number|
Pastoral Council - Rob Dawson
|Reunion In 2012 - read details.|
Warwick Parish History:
St. Mary's Parish is happy to be associated with the parishes in celebrating a milestone in the life of the Diocese.
A common bond running through our Parishes is our Irish heritage and the legacy handed down to us through the example of their deep faith and the sacrifices they were prepared to make to keep that faith alive.
Of equal importance is our debt to the Irish religious fraternity, who came thousands of miles to an unknown land. Many never to see Ireland or their kinsfolk again in order to minister the faith amongst the migrants.
Considering the vast distance and the movement of people out into the country the growth of the church in the first 100 years was phenomenal.
Consider that the first Mass in Australia was celebrated in Sydney in 1823 (to a captive audience, they were all in chains and all Irish). The first Mass was celebrated in Warwick in 1854 - the Town had only been settled in 1840. Fr. McGinty said that Mass in the Horse and Jockey Hotel in 1854 and ministered the Warwick parish from Ipswich until 1862. Fr. McGinty travelled from Ipswich by horse back and ministered as far south as Lismore.
The first Parish Priest at Warwick was Dr. Cani (an Italian priest) who succeeded Fr. McGinty and he built the first Church. In 1868 Dr. Cani was consecrated the first Bishop of Rockhampton. He was succeeded by Fr. McDonough. and his successor was Fr. James Horan who came to Warwick with considerable credentials having served in Rockhampton and Maryborough and lastly as private secretary to Bishop O'Quinn. Fr. Horan erected country churches including Allora. He built St. Mary's Presbytery at his own expense and bequeathed it to the parish in his will, providing the parish built a boy's school and invited the Christian Brothers to staff it.
Mons. Potter built the Christian Brothers College and opened it in 1912.
Fr. Potter who succeeded Fr. Horan also inherited his zeal for building. He erected the C.Y.M Hall in Guy Street (later moved by Fr. Tom Concannon to be part of St. Mary's Hall), more country churches appeared and then the daunting task of building St. Mary's Church began. It was blessed and opened in 1926. On Sunday 29th February, 1920 the Foundation Stone for this magnificent structure was blessed and laid by Archbishop Daniel Mannix of Melbourne, assisted by Archbishop James Duhig of Brisbane. Fr. Potter then built St. Mary's Primary School and opened it in 1931 by Bishop Byrne, who was the first Bishop in the Toowoomba Diocese. Fr. Potter was consecrated Monsignor and presided over the parish until his death in 1944 - sixty years ago.
Fr. Tom Concannon who had been a curate of Mons. Potter became Administrator of the parish, Bishop Roper having taken it as a mensal parish on the death of Mons. Potter. Fr. Concannon's untimely death in 1948 cut short plans to update the school buildings. Fr. Mahon who was also a curate of Mons. Potter and currently Parish Priest of Allora, became Administrator and set about renewing the School buildings. New buildings were erected for the Infant school and Primary Schools. On retirement of the Sisters of Mercy from Warwick Fr. Michael Mahon built the new Assumption College.
The heavy workload and the weight of debt in the Parish took its toll on Fr. Mahon and he died in 1969. Fr. Bernie Kane administered the parish until the appointment of Fr. Bergin in 1971. Despite indifferent health at times Fr. John Bergin set about reorganising finances and went onto build the Library at the Brothers, do extensive renovations at that School, a big upgrade of St. Mary's Hall and the long awaited face lift of St. Mary's Church.
Fr. Bergin was elevated to Monsignor and retired 3rd February, 1991 and besides his incredible administration and building skills he will also be long remembered as the priest who convinced the bishop of Toowoomba to reinstate Warwick as a Parish.
Monsignor Bergin went to his eternal reward in 1997.
Fr. Tom Sheeran succeeded Mons. Bergin and embraced a huge task with the same enthusiasm as his predecessor. He built aged person Units, upgraded the Brothers resident as a Parish Centre and spent one million dollars on new classrooms and a revamp of Assumption College. The Sanctuary of St. Mary's Church has been remodelled and the Church repainted.
Throughout the history of the Parish, society and religious activity has not been neglected. In 1951 Fr. Mahon introduced Perpetual Adoration in the Parish and it has continued until a few years ago. Adoration now continues intermittently.
St. Patrick's Day celebrations were held for over 100 years until costs became too burdensome.
The St. Mary's Festival was introduced to replace the St. Patrick's Day Parade and recently coincided with the St Patrick's Day 150th Anniversary. As well, a "Back to Warwick" Parish Dinner on 12th March, 2005 to honour the first Mass being celebrated in Warwick. The Parish Festival is no longer conducted.
Fr Tom Sheeran left Warwick in early 2005 and now lives in semi-retirement in Toowoomba assisting in various Parishes. Fr. Michael O'Brien filled in after Fr Tom left and until Fr Hal Ranger returned to Warwick at Easter 2005. During Fr Hal's time at St Mary's, Michael Bennet was employed as a Parish Worker for twelve months. Michael is now based in Brisbane. Fr Hal remained here until Easter 2008 when he relocated to Toowoomba. St Mary's Parish was then under the guidance of Fr Kevin Noble who also oversaw the Yangan/Killarney, Allora and Warwick Parishes. Sadly Fr Kevin passed away in June 2010.
We are proud to be a part of the Toowoomba Diocese. We offer our loyalty to Bishop Morris and we look forward to the future with confidence.