St Brigid's Catholic Church, Red Hill
|The St Brigid's Story
With the influx of Irish migrants, Brisbane expanded and this is reflected in the number of people living at Red Hill. In 1897 Archbishop Robert Dunn laid the foundation for a new school building and, when it opened, there were over 400 on the school roll. This building was located in the present car park and had to be demolished after a fire partially destroyed the building in 1974.The school was closed in 1983 because of declining numbers.
In 1907 the energetic Fr John McCarthy was appointed as the second Parish Priest.Fr McCarthy encouraged his parishioners to believe they could build the imposing church that stands today by encouraging them to ‘buy a brick’. It took from 1912-1914 for the church to be built at a cost of 14000 pounds, a staggering amount for an impoverished working class community.
Fr McCarthy and a committee of parishioners asked the architect, Robin Dods, to incorporate design features from the cathedral at Albi into the design of the new church. On the 15th of May, 1912 the newly arrived coadjutor Archbishop, James Duhig, laid the foundation stone.
Over the next two years, as parishioners raised money, the workmen followed the instructions of the architect and the people of Brisbane wondered what lay behind the scaffolding. With much fanfare, and surrounded by civil and religious dignitaries, on August 9th, 1914 the present St Brigid’s was blessed and opened by Archbishop Duhig.
The church, which is now listed by the National Trust, was a bold statement of faith by the Catholic people of Brisbane and remains a powerful place of prayer and hope for today’s generation.
In 1999, Red Hill joined neighbouring parishes in an extensive time of pastoral review from which eventually emerged its linking with the historic parishes of Rosalie, Bardon, Herston, Newmarket and Ashgrove.
On 9th November 2006 these churches formally combined to form the Jubilee Parish with Fr Peter Brannelly appointed as the first Parish Priest.
IN 2012 The Jubilee Community marked the centenary of the laying of the foundation stone by Archbishop James Duhig. As part of that event the newly arrived Archbishop of Brisbane, Most reverend Mark Coleridge celebrated the anniversary Mass and blessed the new Dr Jack Clarke Meeting room, located under the sanctuary of the Church.
2014 marked the centenary of the opening and blessing of St Brigid’s. On the 9th of August, 1914, with much fanfare and excitement, church and civil dignitaries gathered with the Catholic people of Brisbane for the opening of the Church. One hundred years later the church was once again full of church and civil dignitaries as with much fanfare Archbishop Coleridge led the anniversary mass.
With its magnificent Whitehouse organ, superb acoustics and energetic choir the Sunday morning 10am solemn Mass is popular with parishioners, families and visitors. A warm invitation is extended to join us each Sunday for our solemn mass which begins at 10am.
Information on the history of the Church organ can be found here.
Would you like to be part of the choir and musicians of St Brigid’s? More information can be found here.
78 Musgrave Road
Red Hill QLD 4051
(*Please refer to the current week’s newsletter for the weekday Masses)
St Brigid is one of the Patron Saints of Ireland, along with Patrick and Columba.
Brigid was probably born in eastern Ireland in 451 or 452, and died in Kildare, Ireland about 525.
She was inspired by the teachings of St Patrick and vowed to enter religious life.
About the age of 18 she settled near Croghan Hill with seven like-minded girls. They consecrated their lives to God’s will and to His service. Brigid founded an abbey in Kildare in 470, and, as an abbess, she held the rank and function of a bishop.
She established schools for men and women, and realized the need for the body, mind and spirit to be intertwined and nourished. She founded a school of art which included metal work and illumination of manuscripts. The quality of the art here was well known and copied through the known world at that time.
Her chief virtues lay in her common sense, gentleness, compassion, holiness and hospitality, which won affection from all who knew her.
Brigid was called ‘Mary of the Gael’ because of her spirit of charity and the miracles attributed to her.
Her statue and the stained glass window above the altar at St Brigid’s show her with a building in her hand, a reference to her mission to erect monasteries and schools in Ireland.Her feast day is on the 1st of February.