Today, Jandowae Parish is a welcoming, friendly, loving community despite the fact that we may be small in numbers. Catholics have been ministered to in this district for about 150 years. The first church was built in 1909 under the patronage of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception and was opened debt free. It was later extended in 1917. In 1929 the Diocese of Toowoomba was created and in 1936 the parish of Jandowae, comprising Jandowae, Cooranga North, Warra and Bell was inaugurated and the Presbytery built. Father Schuhkraft ministered in the parish until 1948 when Bishop Roper asked him to move to Millmerran. Fr. Schuhkraft counted these years as the happiest in his life. He had nurtured well the parish in his charge.
His successor, Fr. O’Donohue perceived the need for a convent school and the annual fetes at “Kuyura” commenced to raise funds for the school. Land was bought but the school was never built due to the inability of the Religious Congregations to provide sisters to staff the school. In 1961, after 13 years in the parish, Fr. Leo passed away and Fr. Cronin was appointed Parish Priest. The fine new Church was opened in 1964. In 1971 he left for Stanthorpe. The next 3 years saw the Jandowae parish under the care of 3 priests – Fr. Frank Hall 71 – 73; and 2 administrators, Fr. James Madden and Fr. Bernie Kane.
The Missionary Sisters of Service conducted their periodic missions to the Parish after their arrival in the diocese in 1964 and they continued into the 1980s.
In May 1974 Fr. Justin King was appointed at the fifth parish priest. His pastorage lasted for 8 years and it saw the first flowering of the post Vatican II sowing of refurbished traditions and practices. A new direction in the church with updated liturgy and adult faith education was ushered in. The CWL flourished and Fr. Justin promoted ecumenical activities.
Fr. Derick Furness came in 1982 and continued to build on the foundations begun by Fr. Justin. Parish Renewal took place and there was a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our midst. The Prayer Group flourished from 1986 until the end of 1994. Fr. Derick established a firm foundation so that we were able to function effectively as the first parish in the diocese without a resident priest. A pastoral council saw to the day to day running of the parish and the priests came from Dalby to celebrate the Eucharist – Frs. Peter Murphy, John Treacy and Clarrie Leahy gave us wonderful support.
Fr. Ted Hanlon ministered to us in 1996 till 1998. Sr. Mary Cleary mss. became the Pastoral Leader in 1999 and the parish continues to flourish under her guiding hand. Fr. Michael Cooney is very supportive and offers Mass once a fortnight with the Liturgy of the Word and Communion taking place on the alternate Sundays. Mass is also celebrated quarterly at Cooranga North, Jimbour and Warra. An ecumenical service is held on the 5th Sunday of the month alternating with the Anglican and Uniting Churches.
Churches and Mass Times
Immaculate Conception Church, Jandowae