In 1972 Archbishop Patrick O’Donnell blessed the newly built Herston presbytery. It was to be the home of the parish priest and the parish office, while at the same time providing accommodation for the hospital chaplains who looked after the nearby Royal Brisbane Hospital.
In 2009 work began on the Herston presbytery to transform it into a centre of prayer and discernment for young men considering their vocation. It was named Canali House after a civil engineer and architect, Joseph Canali, who had been invited out to Brisbane by Bishop Quinn to help with the completion of St Stephen’s Cathedral. He later pursued a vocation to the priesthood and was ordained in 1879.
Fr Canali went on to gain legendary status in his role as a chaplain at the Brisbane General Hospital for 36 years.
When not ministering to the sick, Canali maintained an interest in architecture and the results of some his designs are still in evidence today, most notably the front gates of All Hallow’s convent on Ann St in the city and the original St Brigid’s church at Red Hill.
Canali House is a ministry of the Vocations Office of the Archdiocese of Brisbane and can be contacted through Fr Morgan Batt, Vocations Director, on 0408 292 543. Alternatively you can visit their website;