The first Mass celebrated in Dalby was at the home of Mr and Mrs Samuel Stewart in 1851 and the first resident Priest was Fr McCarthy assisted by Fr Bow.
In 1867, the first Catholic church was built.? It was a small brick building on the corner of Bunya and Jimbour streets. When the walls of the church were nearly completed, a severe cyclone struck Dalby and the half-finished church was reduced to a heap of rubble. However, the locals soldiered on and completed the building.
At this time, the resident priest in Dalby was Father Devitt. In the early days of settlement Dalby was included in the Diocese of New South Wales.
In 1886, this brick church was replaced by a wooden church.? White ants attacked the wooden structure and the building was demolished in 1917.? Masses were then held in the parochial hall which had been opened on 5th August, 1913.
Fr Denis Joseph Byrne was appointed in 1868 as Parish priest and he continued in this role until his death in 1907.
In 1921, Monsignor T.J. Nolan, Dalby?s longest serving Parish Priest, instigated the building of a new church on the corner of Bunya and Cunningham streets.? The foundation stone was laid on 14th May 1920 and St Joseph?s church was dedicated on 4th December, 1921 by Archbishop Duhig.
One of the significant architectural features of the current church is the ?rose window? over the choir gallery which is set in 12 panels of stained glass.? On each panel is worked a symbol of the Passion of Our Lord.? It was erected in memory of Catholic soldiers who died in World War 1.
The church was refurbished and blessed by Bishop William Morris on 19th December, 1993.
Originally the parish of Dalby covered an area of 17,500 square miles with 27 Mass stations for the Priests to visit. Today the parish of St Joseph?s includes the country communities of:
Bell (Our Lady Help of Christians)
Bowenville (Sacred Heart)
Irvingdale (Sacred Heart)
Fr Michael Cooney is also the Priest Director for the Immaculate Conception Church community at Jandowae. In 1929, the first Presbytery was constructed and this remained until 1988 when the current building was erected. In 2012, a much needed Parish Centre was built which involved alterations to the current Presbytery building. At the same time, a separate residence was built for the Parish Priest. Both buildings were blessed and opened by Bishop William Morris and Bishop Brian Finnigan in April 2012. Parish Life is served by a number of ministries and groups including:
|Parish Finance Council
Prayer and Devotions
Unity among Christians
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it? (Heb. 13:2).