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Our Lady Help of Christians, Hendra



Our Lady Help of Christians Parish began its origins in the purchase by the Catholic Church of an old rambling residence belonging to the Bowman family on 3 acres of land which became the temporary church. A magnificent residence, although in very poor condition, it became the school as well in 1937 and incorporated the accommodation for the Parish Priest and housekeeper. It was used as a Church and School until 1946 and each weekend the school desks and church seats had to be interchanged to accommodate Masses. The Parish was established in 1928 by Fr Joseph V. Troy and the first Mass was held in the old house/church on 9 June 1929.

The first Parish Priest was Fr J B Lynch, later to become Monsignor Lynch, who was instrumental in the development and construction of the new church, Hall and Presbytery over the long period of his tenure, from 1934 – 1966. Two of Brisbane’s leading citizens played an important role in the establishment of the parish and school: T C Beirne and FJ MCDonnell. The Parish Priest of Hendra was invited to be the Racing Chaplain, a tradition which still stands today.

The original Presbytery in Bowman Street was built for Monsignor Lynch and dedicated in 1938. However, he elected to live in the old house and allow the Josephite Sisters who taught at the school to live there until such time as a Hendra convent was built for them. St Joseph’s Convent’s foundation stone was blessed and laid by Archbishop Duhig on 4 April 1948. During Monsignor Lynch’s pastorship, Our Lady Help of Christians School was opened by Archbishop Duhig on 8 December 1946. The newly opened school building also doubled as the church until the new church was built in 1961.

The foundation stone of the current Our Lady Help of Christians church was blessed and laid by the Most Rev Archbishop James Duhig DD KC MG LLD, Archbishop of Brisbane on 16 July 1961 with the opening of the church by His Grace on 3 December 1961.

The Parish has been served by dedicated Parish Priests and Administrators commencing with the long-serving Monsignor Lynch, Frs P J Gillam and J Spence who each served for over 10 years, through to our current Parish Priest, Fr Paul Chackanikunnel, CMI.