Sacred Heart Catholic Church Rosalie

The Sacred Heart Story

The Sacred Heart Parish began as an adjunct of Red Hill Parish. Prior to its opening parishioners had to walk or ride on horseback to Red Hill or St Stephen’s Cathedral for Mass.  

Archbishop Dunne purchased land on Given Terrace and on Fernberg Road on which the first church at Rosalie was built in 1898.  The first church cost 500 pounds to build and Fr Hegarty, Parish Priest of Red Hill, celebrated the first Mass.  A school was opened in 1906 beside the church. 

The Sisters of Mercy share in the early history of Rosalie Parish.  In 1905 the Sisters arrived to assist with the catechism class. They travelled each Sunday from All Hallows and, in 1906, a small temporary school opened and the education of the children was taken over by the Sisters of Mercy. The children came from Paddington, Bardon, Rainworth, Torwood, Milton, Barney’s Flat, Rosalie and Belotti’s Hill (Heussler Terrace).  For eleven years the Sisters came from All Hallows to Rosalie by tram to teach the children.

In 1907 a second larger church was built and was blessed and opened by Fr William Lee, who was Rosalie’s first Parish Priest. He took up residence in a dilapidated old building on the corner of Given Terrace and Fernberg Road. The Rosalie Parish boundary extended from Rosalie to Red Hill, from Paddington Cemetery (Petrie Terrace) to the mountains, and from Kennedy Terrace to the Brisbane River. In 1914 the foundation stone for a new presbytery was laid and in December, 1914, the new presbytery was blessed and opened by Archbishop Duhig. At the opening Archbishop Duhig announced the parish was large enough to warrant a new brick church. 

In 1917, to save time and travelling, Mother Patrick Potter decided to build a convent at Rosalie.  In June of 1917 the foundation stone of the new brick church was laid.  The cost to build it was 8000 pounds and on 16th June 1918, the church was opened by His Excellency Archbishop Cattaneo, Apostolic Delegate representing Pope Benedict XV, assisted by Archbishop Duhig.

In response to the growing number of families in the area the Marist Brothers established their first foundation in Queensland at Rosalie. In July, 1928, the foundation stone of the Marist Brothers’ monastery was laid by Archbishop Cattaneo, with Br Osmond as the first Superior.

In 1934 Monsignor Lee returned to Ireland because of his ailing health and died there the following year.  In 1936 Fr Arthur O’Keeffe was appointed Parish Priest.  After Fr O’Keefe’s retirement in 1943 he was succeeded by Fr Patrick MacGinley who died two years later.  Stability was to be restored with the appointment in 1945 of Fr John McCarthy who was to remain at Rosalie until his retirement in 1969.

In January, 1942, there was a fire in the church. The infants’ school became the church until restoration of the church was completed.  The restored church reopened in 1943. In 1948 the foundation stone for the new Brothers school was laid by Mr Eamon De Valera, Premier of Ireland, assisted by Archbishop Duhig.

Fr Denis Power was appointed Parish Priest in 1970.  With great enthusiasm Fr Power embraced the changes of the Second Vatican Council and was proactive in such diverse areas as aged care, subsidised housing, ecumenical contacts and education.  Fr Power retired to the Sunshine Coast in 1998 and died on 23rd December, 2007.

The changing demographics of inner city suburbs saw the closure of the Sacred Heart Primary School in 1995.  The same pressure resulted in the closure of Marist Brother’s College in 2008. The following year the Marist Brothers renamed the former college The Lavalla Centre as a place of Marist spirituality and mission. For more information about the Lavalla Centre please click here.

With the retirement of Fr Power, Rosalie joined neighbouring parishes in an extensive time of review from which eventually emerged its linking with the historic parishes of Ashgrove, Bardon, Herston, Newmarket and Red Hill. On the 9th of November 2006 these churches formally combined to form the Jubilee Parish with Fr Peter Brannelly appointed the first Parish Priest.

A process of rejuvenation has been quietly taking place which has seen Rosalie emerge as a vibrant and busy Catholic hub utilizing existing facilities for the mission of the parish and the Archdiocese.  The Lavalla Centre, the Sr Mary de Ricci Atrium, MacKillop Centre and the Emmaus Centre are just some of the organizations that now call Rosalie home. 

Additionally, the convenience and available parking has made the 4:30pm Saturday Vigil Mass and 5:30pm Sunday evening Mass very popular.


For history of the Church organ click here.



369 Given Terrace
Paddington/Rosalie QLD 4064

(*Please refer to the current week’s newsletter for Mass times)


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