Up until 1917 when Sacred Heart church was built and 1923 when St Finbarr’s church was opened, people of the Bardon area would have had to attend Mass at St Brigid’s, Red Hill. Then, in 1923 Archbishop Duhig purchased “Bardon House” and the surrounding land. This beautiful home was built in 1864 by Joshua Jeays. Mr. Jeays was a prominent builder, architect and politician. The house was named “Bardon” at the request of Jeays’ wife who likened the rolling hills of the western suburbs to Bardon Hill in Leicestershire. The name incidentally, is derived from the Old English “Beorg-dun” meaning barren hill. The surrounding suburb was named Bardon in 1926.
The house was built of rough sandstone called Woogaroo Stone which was quarried near to the site of Wolston Park Hospital, roofed with shingles and featuring gables, casement windows and chimneys in the style of an old English manor house. After the Jeays, “Bardon House” was home to Sir Charles Lilley, Attorney General and Premier during the late 1860s. After Sir Charles’ death in 1897, a succession of notable Queenslanders made “Bardon House” their home.
By the time Archbishop Duhig purchased the property, the large estate on which it originally stood had long been divided up and sold, along with “The Drive” that had led to the front entrance. By that year of 1923, the area had become part of the growing suburb of Bardon.
In 1925, Bardon was made a separate parish, the 38th parish of the Archdiocese and the first Mass was celebrated in “Bardon House” by Mons. Lee of Rosalie Parish. The first Parish Priest was Fr Maxwell Irvine. He was also the chaplain to Stuartholme Convent and was thus kept very fit walking from “Bardon House”, where he lived, to Stuartholme to say morning Mass.
In 1938 Archbishop Duhig decided to establish a school to cater for the growing Catholic community in the Bardon district and he invited the Franciscan Sisters to staff the school. Eventually it was decided that “Bardon House” would be suitable for the foundation, and, utilising the verandah for classrooms, it welcomed the first students in 1939.
Over the next 75 years, “Bardon House” served as a convent, classrooms, school administration and music rooms.
In 2007 the decision was made to withdraw the Franciscan Sisters and for the next couple of years the building was used to accommodate university chaplains. In 2013 “Bardon House” resumed its historic role as a convent when the Jubilee Parish welcomed the Verbum Dei Missionary Sisters.
The Verbum Dei Sisters dedicate themselves full-time to the work of evangelisation through prayer and ministry of the Word of God. Every Monday evening they host a School of the Word in their Chapel at Bardon House from 6.30pm - 8.00pm which involves a short talk on a specific scripture passage followed by time for personal prayer and sharing with a cup of tea. They also host a School of the Word at St Stephen's Cathedral choir room every Friday from 5.40pm-7.15pm. Their work also involves running spiritual retreats, giving faith formations and personally accompanying the faith journey of people. Some of the missionaries are also involved in working at the Queensland University of Technology Chaplaincy. They are very grateful to be a part of our Parish and look forward to meeting more parishioners over the coming years.
Verbum Dei Missionaries
(mob) 0424 777 232 (mob) 0478 839 990 (hm) (07)3495 7105