The parish of St. Brendan's, Flemington was founded from St. Monica's parish in 1891. It is also currently the base for the Coptic Catholic community of Melbourne and within its boundaries is the St. Vincent Liem Centre which serves the Vietnamese Catholics of the northern and western suburbs.
In the early days of Melbourne, the Catholics of the Flemington area came under the pastoral care of St. Augustine's, Keilor Mission. As early as December 1853, Archbishop Goold visited Flemington to select a site for a church, which Hugh Glass had offered as a gift.
In the boom years of population growth and expansion of wealth and resources in Melbourne in the 1880's, the Flemington and Kensington areas became an independent borough in 1882. The Catholics from Flemington contributed financially to the building of St. Monica's church, officially opened in 1884. Many of the parishioners were going to Mass at St. Mary's, West Melbourne.
Hence, it was high time that there was a church and parish in the Flemington area. A church dedicated to St. Brendan was built in Church Street in 1886; the memorial stone was the last one laid by Archbishop Goold before his death. The first school was built in 1887. Archbishop Carr in January 1891 announced at the end of the annual clergy retreat that Father Cornelius Sheehan of Collingwood had been appointed as the first parish priest to the new parish of Flemington. The first presbytery was the house now on the corner of Bryant and High Streets. The priests moved into the present presbytery in 1908.
A new Infant School was opened in Eltham Street in 1910. The year before, in 1909, the Sisters of the Mercy opened up their Novitiate and Teacher Training College, located in Mt Alexander Road within the parish, and took charge of St. Brendan's School which up to that time had been in the care of the Sisters of Charity, residing in Essendon. The present Wellington Street school building was opened in 1914.
A new St. Brendan's Church (the present one) was built in 1924 and blessed by Archbishop Daniel Mannix on 6th July. St. Brendan's Kindergarten was built in Eltham Street in 1945. On April 24th 1963, fire destroyed the original church and school buildings in Church Street. A few months later, a double storeyed school building enlarged the Wellington Street School size.
The present parish hall was built in 1971 on the site of the old church and school. A new kindergarten was opened in Bryant Street by Archbishop Frank Little on 4th April 1982. The most recent extensive building programme involved the school refurbishment and extensions blessed by Bishop Peter Connors on 7th August 1988.
St. Brendan's parish is part of the Central West Deanery, which comprises the parishes of St. Patrick's Cathedral, St. Francis' Church, St. Augustine's (Bourke Street), St. Mary's West Melbourne, St. Michael's North Melbourne, St. Carthage's Parkville, Holy Rosary Kensington and St. Brendan's Flemington.
According to the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), ‘the Church wants the whole world to hear the summons to salvation, so that through hearing it may believe, through belief it may hope, and through hope it may come to love’. The gift of salvation is revealed in Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus suffered, died and rose again in order to set us free and give us the gift of eternal life.
On the day of Pentecost, the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples of Jesus to form them as the Church. Through Baptism and Confirmation, the people of God are incorporated into Christ. They receive the gift of faith, obtain forgiveness of their sin and become a new creation.
Christians gather on Sunday to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus. They celebrate the gift of faith, listen attentively to the Word of God proclaimed in the scriptures and celebrate the Eucharist which unites them and nourishes them for the life of prayer, witness and service. The nourishment that Christians receive from word and sacrament ‘enlightens the mind, strengthens the will and fires the hearts of all with the love of God’. It is the very wish of the Church that all the faithful should be led to take that full, conscious and active part in liturgical celebrations.
While the Church is governed by the pope and bishops as successors of the apostles, the laity have a unique and distinctive vocation in the life of the Church, a universal call to holiness through Baptism and Confirmation. Lay believers are in the front line of Church life; for them the Church is the animating principle of human society. Therefore, they in particular ought to have an ever-clearer consciousness not only of belonging to the Church but of being the Church, that is to say, the community of the faithful on earth. Thus the Church, at once a visible organization and a spiritual community, travels the same journey as all of humanity and shares the same earthly lot with the world; it is to be leaven and, as it were, the soul of human society in its renewal in Christ and transformation into the family of God.
18 May 2014
- What St Brendan's means to me
Saturday 6pm Vigil Mass
Sunday 10.30am Mass in English and Italian
(Coptic Mass 1.00pm)
Tuesday to Saturday 9.15am
Exposition of The Blessed Sacrament:
First Friday of the month: 9.45am - 10.45am
Every Saturday: 9.45am - 10.45am (after Morning Mass)
Saturday at 9.45am
For information on weddings, Baptisms and other services, please visit the Sacraments section of the website.
103 Wellington Street
- T: (03) 9376 7378
- E: firstname.lastname@example.org
- F: (03) 9376 5960
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