Our Diocesan Pastoral Plan June 2018– June 2023 was launched at St Patrick’s Cathedral by Bishop Robert McGuckin. The Diocesan Pastoral Plan and accompanying Diocesan Action Plan is the outcome of a process of consultation, analysis and facilitated conversation which started early 2017.
The Diocesan Statement is “Nurturing welcoming communities from the Range to the Borders where God’s mercy, love and the joy of the Gospel are experience, celebrated and shared”.
There are 6 Key Pastoral Directions covered in the Diocesan Pastoral Plan: Family Engagement; Spiritual Development; Parish Leadership; Liturgy; Creating a Safe and Welcoming Church; Social Justice. The Diocesan Action Plan expands on these Pastoral Directions by outlining actionable strategies that diocesan ministries and councils as well as parishes and parish councils can achieve.
The Plan will be revisited in 2023.
Sychar House of Prayer and Spirituality is blessed and opened. Sychar was created to respond to a need for a diocesan space that would help people discover inner growth and spiritual nourishment. It is for those who seek to discover their authentic self and awaken to the Mystery of God in whom they live and move and have their being.
The creation of a spirituality centre is part of one of the Key Pastoral Directions in the Diocesan Pastoral Plan (2018). Sr Elaine Morzone was the prime motivator behind the creation of the spirituality centre along with a group of dedicated volunteers. Sr Elaine and the volunteers continue to be a part of Sychar.
Kelly House is opened at the James Byrne Centre. The building is named after Bishop Edward Kelly, who was the driving force behind building the James Byrne Centre.
Most Reverend Robert McGuckin is consecrated as sixth Bishop of Toowoomba at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Toowoomba.
Bishop William Morris’ early retirement is announced. He currently resides in Brisbane. (Photo: Farewell Mass for Bishop Morris)
St Columba’s School and St Mary’s College in Dalby combine and open as Our Lady of the Southern Cross College.
The Feast of Mary of the Southern Cross is first celebrated. The day is a solemnity across the Diocese. The date of September 1st was chosen because it is the anniversary of the taking possession of the Cathedral by our first bishop and it is eight days before the Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary and therefore would create an octave. It is also the first official day of Spring in Australia and it is a day when no other feast is celebrated in Australia.
The Holy Father issues a Bull formally recognizing the title of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of the Southern Cross. Mary of the Southern Cross was chosen to be Patron of the Diocese of Toowoomba.
After a short illness, Bishop Edward Kelly dies at Currumbin Hospital, aged 77 years. He is buried in the Toowoomba Lawn Cemetery.
Bishop Edward Kelly celebrated the Silver Jubilee of his Episcopal ordination in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Toowoomba.
Most Reverend William Morris is consecrated as fifth Bishop of Toowoomba at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Toowoomba.
Bishop Edward Kelly was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Southern Queensland.
Upon his seventy-fifth birthday, Bishop Kelly notified the Holy See of his retirement and moved to Tugun.
Concannon College at the University of Southern QLD is completed. The college was built in the honour of the Concannon family, particularly Monsignor Edward Concannon for his devotion to youth and education in Toowoomba. The College is managed by the University of Southern QLD and owned by the Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba.
The Dining Hall is opened at the James Byrne Centre.
The Main Accommodation Block is opened at the James Byrne Centre.
The Marian Hall is opened at the James Byrne Centre.
The James Byrne Centre, named after the first Bishop of Toowoomba, is opened.
Construction begins on the James Byrne Centre – the Chapel and Sanctuary House. The retreat centre is a project initiated by Bishop Kelly.
(1979-1984) William Morris serves as Secretary to Archbishop Rush in Brisbane and Diocesan Director of Vocations
Bishop Edward Kelly is installed as the fourth Bishop of Toowoomba at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Toowoomba by Archbishop Francis Rush of Brisbane.
After a long illness Bishop William Brennan died and is buried in the Drayton Cemetery in the diocesan plot.
Robert McGuckin is ordained by Archbishop James Carroll
William Martin Morris is ordained in St Stephen’s Cathedral, Brisbane.
Most Reverend Edward Kelly was consecrated bishop at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, and took responsibility for the western region parishes of Sydney. That same year he also held the position of Auxiliary Bishop to Cardinal Gilroy.
Sisters of Mercy Convent High School Warwick was officially opened provide additional facilities for students. In 1980 Assumption College became a co-educational Junior Secondary College following the rationalisation of the school system in Warwick.
Sacred Heart School Toowoomba opened with 22 children. School was conducted in a wooden building donated by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart.
Bishop Joseph Roper dies and is buried in Ararat.
Bishop Brennan opens the Sacred Heart Church Toowoomba
St Joseph’s College was established by the Christian Brothers to educate boys from Years 5 to 10. In 1983 the school phased out the primary school classes, extended to years 11 and 12 and became co-educational.
Bishop Joseph Roper celebrates Golden Jubilee of Ordination.
St Monica’s Church Oakey, Foundation stone blessed by Bishop Brennan. Later in the year the present War Memorial Church was completed.
St Theresa’s Parish separates from Holy Name Parish.
At the direction of Bishop Brennan, and in the face of some spirited local opposition, the presbytery of Tannymorel was moved to Killarney which then became the centre of the parish.
Foundation Stone laid for St Anthony’s Primary School Toowoomba and the first classroom was ready for use by February 1955.
St Mary’s Church, Augathella is opened.
Most Reverend William Brennan was consecrated Third Bishop of Toowoomba by Cardinal Gilroy, then Archbishop of Sydney, at Holy Family Church, Parkes. He took possession of the Diocese on 8th November.
William Brennan becomes Vicar General of the Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese.
Due to failing health, Bishop Joseph Roper tended his resignation to the Holy See and left Toowoomba for Ararat, Victoria.
St Maria Goretti School, Inglewood is blessed and opened by Bishop Roper. The school is founded by the Sister of St Joseph.
Parish of Toowoomba West, Our Lady of Lourdes, established.
Wallumbilla Parish established.
At the request of Bishop Roper, Bishop of Toowoomba, three Sisters of St Joseph- Sr Macrina, Sr Carmel and Sr Magdalen arrived in Quilpie by train. St Joseph’s School, Quilpie was opened. The school later became St Finbarr’s School and in 2009 leadership of the school was transferred from the Sisters of St Joseph to the Catholic Education Office, Toowoomba.
Inglewood and Yelarbon separate from the Texas parish.
Miles Parish was established
Sacred Heart Parish Texas was declared.
Robert McGuckin was born in Marrickville, Sydney. His parents John and Gladys are now both deceased, as is one of his four siblings. His family comprises his eldest sister Janice, his elder brother Edward and his younger brother Patrick and their children. He received his early education at St Pius Primary School in Enmore and later at De La Salle College in Marrickville.
Edward Kelly was ordained at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney after entering the Novitiate of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart at Douglas Park, and continuing his studies at the Gregorian University, Rome. He obtained his Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology and returned home just as World War II was beginning and completed his studies in Victoria.
Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School blessed & opened by Bishop Roper. School conducted by Ursuline Nuns, Mother Hildegarde First Principal.
Most Reverend Joseph Roper was consecrated Second Bishop of Toowoomba by Archbishop Daniel Mannix in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Ballarat. He took possession of the Diocese on 20th November.
Millmerran Parish established out of Warwick Parish
Bishop James Byrne became very ill in 1935 and underwent a major operation in the Mater Hospital in Brisbane. In 1938 Bishop James Byrne died aged 67. He is interred in the Toowoomba/Drayton Cemetery in the Diocesan plot.
Jandowae Parish established
A school is opened by the sisters of St Joseph in St George.
The first Bishop, Most Rev James Byrne, was consecrated in St Patrick’s Church, from then known as St Patrick’s Cathedral. He was consecrated by Archbishop Cattaneo, Apostolic Delegate
The Holy See issues a decree erecting Toowoomba Diocese – fifteen parishes and twenty priests. When the Diocese was founded it covered all the territory in the southern part of Queensland south of the twenty-fifth degree of south latitude and west of the Auburn and great Dividing Ranges. Later a portion of the Archdiocese east of the Great Dividing Range was added. The area is four hundred and eighty seven thousand square kilometers.
William Brennan is ordained.
Church at Chinchilla blown down by a mini twister. By 1926 it was replaced by a wooden building, which in 1962 became the Parish Hall. The present brick Church was completed in 1962.
St. Patrick’s School, Mitchell was established and staffed by five Sisters of Mercy and two lay teachers.
St Joseph’s School opened in Chinchilla.
St Joseph’s Church Stanthorpe opened.
Holy Name Church Toowoomba opened.
William Brennan enters St Columba’s Seminary at Springwood. He continued through St Patrick’s, Manly and finally Propaganda College, Rome, obtaining a Doctorate in Theology.
Archbishop Duhig laid the foundation stone of the school of Mater Dei School Toowoomba, then known as Holy Angels.
Edward Francis Kelly was born in Wellington, NSW. He was the ninth of Denis and Elizabeth Kelly’s ten children. For education opportunities, the family moved to Sydney, and there Edward attended several schools, completing his final years through the Marist Brothers at Kogarah.
James Byrne became the Parish Priest of Ipswich (1917-1929). During this time he was made the Vicar General of Brisbane (1919) and a Monsignor (1922).
Allora Convent School officially opened by Archbishop Duhig.
The Catholic School Community in Pittsworth was founded by the Sisters of St Joseph. The school commenced as St Joseph’s Convent.
Heldon Parish was established. In 1942 the boundary between Toowoomba Diocese and Brisbane Archdiocese was altered to a line just east of Grantham and Helidon became part of the Toowoomba Diocese.
The sisters of Mercy set up St Mary’s School and Convent, Charleville was blessed and opened. The school and convent was set up by the Sisters of Mercy.
Joseph Roper is ordained at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney. He studied in Manly.
St Mary’s School Goondiwindi was opened in by the Sisters of Mercy.
St Stephen’s Church Pittsworth opened.
William Joseph Brennan born at Dulwich Hill, Sydney. His early education was spent with the Sisters of St Joseph at Dulwich Hill and the Christian Brothers at Lewisham.
The Sisters of Mercy begin teaching at the site of Holy Name, then known as the Mort Estate.
James Byrne was ordained by Bishop Croke of Cashel at the St Patrick’s College.
Joseph Basil Roper was born in Dennington (near Warrnambool), Victoria. He attended the Sisters of Mercy School in Warrnambool, then transferred to the Christian Brothers in 1901.
The first church was built in Charleville and called St Joseph’s. In 1915 the first Presbytery was destroyed by fire and a new Church, the first to be named St Mary of the Assumption, and Presbytery were built. Within a short time after extensions had been added to both buildings in 1959 disaster struck again and fire destroyed both buildings. The second St Mary’s of the Assumption Church and Presbytery which were opened and blessed in 1961.
The first resident priest of Charleville, Fr M Morris, arrives.
St John’s School, Roma was established by the Sisters of Mercy
St Columba’s School was established by the Sisters of Mercy to provide Catholic education for the children of Dalby and district.
Sisters of Mercy arrive in Stanthorpe. The convent, which now forms part of the Secondary Campus of St Joseph’s School, was opened and blessed by Bishop Byrne 17th April, 1932
Sisters of Mercy arrive in Warwick and establish St Mary’s School.
All Saints Church built at Roma. 1893 a larger church was built and was renamed Sacred Heart Church. The current church, All Saints Church was built in 1962.
Roma becomes a parish
James Byrne was born in Ballingarry, County Tipperary, Ireland. He was educated at St Patrick’s College, Thurles.
The first Catholic church in Dalby was built. When the walls of the church were nearly completed, a severe storm struck Dalby and the half-finished church was destroyed. However, the building was later completed. The current brick Church’s foundation stone was laid on 14th May 1920 and St Joseph?s church was dedicated on 4th December, 1921 by Archbishop Duhig.
St Patrick’s Church School is opened in Toowoomba. In 1938 Bishop Roper renamed the school The Cathedral School. In 1959 the school was renamed St Saviour’s School, taking the name of the convent where the Sisters of Mercy lived.
Our first resident priest to the Downs, Fr Fulgentius Hodebourg, was appointed. We were called the Toowoomba Mission, and other `Mission Centres’ like Warwick, Roma and Charleville were gradually established. Clergy on horse would travel vast distances to say Mass in homesteads and small community centres. The early families could spend many months between visits, with little faith support and very little news of the happenings elsewhere.
Dr James Quinn is appointed the first Bishop of Brisbane. Prior to Toowoomba being established as a Diocese, we came under the auspices of Brisbane.
The Diocese of Toowoomba celebrated its eightieth anniversary