The history of our parish dates back to the late 1800’s. Prior to the church being built, mass was celebrated every 3 months in the coffee room of the old Leichhardt Hotel by Father Cosgrove who came from Dalby. The Power and McCorley families gave religious instruction to the children because there was no resident priest or nuns.
On January 8th, 1892, a bazaar was held to raise funds for the erection of a Catholic Church. It was the first such function ever held in Taroom. In 1893 the first Catholic Church was built on land donated by Mr Martin Hickey, in Martin St. In 1920 the church was moved to it’s present commanding site on Bonner’s Knob by Mr Mick Clarris with his bullock team. In 1921, the sisters of St Joseph arrived and the church was used as a school. In 1923 the school was built and there were 40 pupils on the roll.
St Mary’s parish school has always been an integral part of our parish life. The sisters of St Joseph were here until 1984, instructing our children and assisting with all the day to day functioning of our parish. Since then we have had some very dedicated lay principals and staff at our school who have been a true witness to the catholic faith and the Christian ideals that we strive to promote in our everyday living. They have continued to be inclusive by welcoming students from other denominations. Today St Mary’s Parish School is an influential entity and a dynamic place of learning in our shire.
The St Vincent de Paul society is a very active arm of our parish and these generous volunteers give much-needed support to residents and travellers. Until 2000 our community, in conjunction with Wandoan and Cracow, was served by various resident Parish Priests. Many parish functions and support groups nurtured the development of faith, which saw our parish blossom and grow into the holistic community that exists today.
With the declining number of priests, in 2001 St Mary’s Parish welcomed Fr Mervyn Zeising as “Priest in Residence”. Fr Merv has been instrumental in guiding us in the process of managing the parish affairs. He has worked alongside us in developing the formation of groups for the organization of liturgies, funerals, baptisms, marriages, and ministering to the sick etc. Embedded in this challenge has been the declining population within our parish.
Today we are able to look forward with an optimistic vision as we embrace the change within our Parish. Through our faith in the grace of God we know that the life-giving presence of the Holy Spirit in our community will strengthen us and enable us to adapt. Our goal is to move on and see that the Catholic faith and service continues to thrive in our lives and for generations to come.
Churches and Mass Times
St Mary of the Angels’ Church, Taroom
St Joseph’s Church, Wandoan
Sacred Heart Church, Cracow