BRIEF HISTORY OF ST JOSEPH’S The first Mass in Nambour was celebrated by Fr Fouhy in Carroll’s Hotel, on Showground Hill in 1877. At this time there was no priest stationed between Brisbane and Gympie and Mass was only celebrated three or four times a year, when Frs Canali and Kercher made visits to Nambour, travelling on horseback.
In the late 1800s came Fr M J McKiernan, whose zeal and enthusiasm prompted Mr T Currie to donate five acres of land (the present site) for church purposes. The land was purchased for ₤30 and timber to build obtained from the property of Mr Paddy King and cut at Lowes Sawmill. The church was 40ft by 20ft and cost ₤40 to build in 1890. At this time a much larger parish extended from Caboolture to Eumundi. In 1919 Fr Wright arrived to take charge of the new parish of Maroochy, but it was not until 1921 that Nambour was a separate parish from Caboolture. Many priests were involved in the development of the Parish during its earliest years.
In 1949 the existing church in a state of disrepair was not able to accommodate the influx of parishioners. Plans were made for the building of the present church. The Foundation stone was blessed and laid by His Grace, Archbishop Duhig in April 1950 and later opened in July 1951. The cost of the building and furnishings was ₤24,000.
Fr Francis Hefferan was Parish Priest from the early 1950s to 1995. Separation of the Nambour and Maroochydore Parish into two separate groups took place on January 1st, 1971. Fr Dudley McMahon became Parish Priest in mid 1995 until mid 2000, when Fr Graham Gatehouse was installed. Renovations to the existing church were completed in 2000, the dedication ceremony being held on 4th June 2000 with Archbishop John A Bathersby. The old Presbytery which was once used as the Priest’s quarters and office, housekeepers quarters, and later as parish offices and meeting rooms was demolished in December 2007, to make way for a new Parish Community Centre. The new Community Centre was opened and blessed on Sunday August 17th, 2008 by Bishop Brian V Finnigan.
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BRIEF HISTORY OF ST JOHN BOSCO CHURCH KENILWORTH The new Roman Catholic Church was opened and blessed on Sunday by Archbishop Duhig, who was assisted by the Rev. Dr. Doody Nambour. There was a large gathering, and cash donations amounted to about £100. Several donations for furnishings also were received. The building is situated on a hill overlooking the town, and the site was donated by the late Mr. Christy Sharry. The total cost of the church and furnishings was a little over £600. The Indebtedness is about £400. Luncheon was provided in the public hall, where the Rev. Dr. Doody welcomed his Grace, and was supported by Messrs. K. Cameron and P. Sharry. (The Courier Mail 13 April 1938)
KENILWORTH CATHOLIC COMMUNITY FROM THE EARLY DAYS TO THE PRESENT
1843 ~ First recorded Christian service in the Mary Valley, ‘on a ridge overlooking a beautiful flat on the bank of the river which we named Parson’s Vale’. (Probably near today’s Eastern Mary River Road and Maleny/Kenilworth Road). Lutheran Pastor, Christopher Eiper conducted the service.
1868 ~ Mr Patrick Sharry joined by Fr Matthew Horan while he boiled his billy on the way to the Gympie goldfield. St Patrick’s Parish was established in Gympie. It included Kenilworth.
1870s ~ Catholic priests, including Fathers Matthew Horan and Duncan McNab, visiting the Mary Valley, made Kenilworth Homestead their base. Along the way, they ministered to all creeds including the Aboriginees of the area.
1880-1920 ~ Kenilworth continue to be ministered to by priests from Gympie. When Kenilworth Station was cut up and sold, the Catholic community became part of the Nambour Parish.
1920-1937 ~ Priests from Nambour visited Kenilworth and celebrated Mass in the home of Mr Will Sharry. When the number became too great for his house, the Kenilworth hall was used.
1937 ~ Dr. Doody decided a church building was needed in Kenilworth. A.J. and C.F. Sharry donated a block of land for the building.
1938-1943 ~ Opening of St John Bosco’s Church by Archbishop James Duhig, with a debt of £404. In 1940, Nambour Parish Choir travelled to every church in the Parish presenting Missae Cantatae, raising funds for the Parish. The debt on the Church had been reduced to £106.
1944-1976 ~ During World War II, Italian Prisoners of War attended Mass here. Thirteen Kenilworth families donated Stations of the Cross. During these years, fundraising continued by way of Raffles and the Annual St Patrick’s Ball. The debt on the church was fully repaid and all maintenance on the building paid for from these funds. The whole Kenilworth community fully supported St John Bosco’s.
1976-1984 ~ Mass was no longer celebrated. The Parish Priest decided to sell the church to fund other Parish projects. However, the people of Kenilworth toiled to keep the building in the hands of the community. The Balls continued; funds being given to other community groups. Maria Stotschek led the community through these difficult days. Kenilworth residents petitioned Archbishop Rush with the request to keep the church. They were successful; the era of being part of Nambour ended.
1984-2013 ~ Archbishop Rush realigned the boundaries and St John Bosco’s became part of Caloundra Parish. There was great joy when the Archbishop came to Kenilworth to officially reopen the church, and formally appoint and install Ministers to preside over Lay Liturgy.
2014 - present day ~ St John Bosco’s Community returned to its original home in Nambour Parish.
St Joseph's Catholic Parish Embracing Nambour, Kenilworth, Palmwoods, Yandina and Bli Bli
Parish Priest: Fr Odinaka Nwadike
Deacon: Rev Tim Shanahan
Hospital Chaplain: To contact a priest for patients in hospital please use the Answering Service on: 3836 3221 and give a short message.