CATHOLIC COMMUNITY OF NORTH HARBOUR
The Catholic Community of North Harbour officially began in July 2006 with the union of the adjacent parishes of St Kieran (Manly Vale) and St Cecilia (Balgowlah).
The area is situated on the northern peninsula of metropolitan Sydney, Australia, and lies within the Diocese of Broken Bay. The parish begins on part of the northern edge of Sydney Harbour, hence its name. The new parish has retained Saint Kieran (of Clonmacnoise in sixth-century Ireland) and Saint Cecilia (an early Roman martyr) as its patron saints.
The previous parish of Manly Vale was excised from the Parish of Manly in 1952, and in June 2006 embraced all or part of the suburbs of North Balgowlah, Manly Vale, Allambie Heights, Allambie, North Manly, Brookvale and Beacon Hill. From the beginning it has been conducted by the Order of Saint Augustine.
The previous parish of Balgowlah was founded in 1929, and in June 2006 included the suburbs of Balgowlah, Balgowlah Heights, Clontarf and Seaforth. It was conducted by diocesan priests until the year 2000, when Bishop David Walker invited the Order of Saint Augustine to minister there.
A SHORT HISTORY OF OUR AREA
Father Therry, landed in Sydney and was appointed to St Patrick's Church, Sydney. The following year the 1,200 acres of land at Pittwater promised to Father Therry by Governor Brisbane was confirmed by Governor Bourke. In 1838 Father Therry was granted an additional 280 acres and he also bought land at the head of Narrabeen lake. Near the present Avalon. In 1859 efforts to build a church were postponed because of the sparcity of Catholics. A church named St Joseph's was erected at Careel Bay in 1875, eleven years after Father Therry's death. On 6th December, 1917, this church was moved to become the first church at Narrabeen.
Manly had 279 Catholics, one church and no school.
Manly became a parish.
Catholic population was 424. There was one church in Manly and one at Pittwater.
St Patrick's College was built between 1885 and the end of 1888.
Father McDonald was officially appointed Administrator of Manly Parish. The site of Manly Vale's existing school, which of course was the first Parish Church, was purchased in the late 1940s by him. He said the first Mass at Brookvale in the Pavilion at Brookvale Park.
Balgowlah was made a separate parish which incorporated Forestville/Davidson area.
2 July, Balgowlah and Manly Vale 'Mass of Union' - parish of Catholic Community of North Harbour.
ST CECILIA'S PARISH
Declared a parish separate from Manly.
First Mass was celebrated in the new parish on 1 February, in the old picture theatre in Sydney Road.
Father Edmund Bond was appointed the first parish priest.
The Church-School Hall was opened by Archbishop Sheehan on 7 November.
The St Vincent de Paul Conference commenced on April 7.
The School, (held in the Church Hall-converted from church to classrooms every Sunday after Benediction) was founded by the Good Samaritan Sisters, with Mother Veronica Morris, on February 2, with 84 pupils.
The present church was built. It was opened on August 4 by Cardinal Gilroy.
The Catholic Women's League started in March.
Extensions to the school were made.
The First Parish Council was formed.
Long serving priests were: Fr Wall (1936-1951)
Fr Moverly (1953-1974)
Fr O'Keeffe (1974- 1998)
ST KIERAN'S MANLY VALE
Following negotiations between His Eminence Cardinal Sir Norman Thomas Gilroy & the Provincial of the Australian Province of the Order, Father Tom Hunt OSA, responsibility for a new parish (Manly Vale, incorporating Forestville /Davidson) was accepted by the Order of St Augustine — contingent on the opening of a new Augustinian boys school within three years. The foundation stone for a church school at Manly Vale was laid in April
and was dedicated in honour of St Kieran, the patron saint of Monsignor McDonald's old school St Kieran's College in Kilkenny. The parish church of Manly Vale was officially opened by Cardinal Gilroy on 12 October 1952 and the first Mass was celebrated by Father John Walsh (assistant priest to Monsignor McDonald of Manly).
Father Daniel Brendan Ormonde osa was appointed as the first parish priest. Father Joe Fitzsimmons osa was appointed assistant priest
St Kieran's parish convent school opened with an enrolment of 50 children. Two Good Samaritan Sisters, Sisters Mary Cabrini and Mary Raymond, travelled daily from their convent in Manly.
Parishioners at the northern end of the parish attended Mass each Sunday in the pavilion at Brookvale Oval and those in Frenchs Forest area attended Mass at the Community Centre in Forestville.
The presbytery (priory) was made an official foundation of the Augustinian Order and in consequence the parish priest, Father Ormonde, was appointed the first Prior of the Manly Vale Community of Augustinians.
There were 500 families registered in the parish and this number was growing. Two extra classrooms were added to the church school.
Father Ormonde went home to Ireland and Father Joe Fitzsimons was appointed acting parish priest.
The first Mass at St Augustine's Brookvale was said by Father Fitzsimons. The congregation was said to number 500. Mons McDonald and Father Father Hunt osa made speeches after the Mass.
Father Dave Brimson osa was appointed first Rector of St Augustine's College. He arrived in the parish on 7 November, 1955.
Father Jim O'Byrne osa was appointed as the second parish priest of St Kieran's.
In July two blocks of ground, adjoining the school grounds, were purchased with a view to building a proper church.
St Augustine's College opened, initially in the Church Hall, moving into the school building later in the year.
A new church hall was opened in Warringah Road, Forestville, to serve the needs of the parishioners in that area.
The church at Forestville, named in honour of 'Our Lady of Good Counsel' was separated from the parish of Manly Vale and constituted as a parish in its own right.
Manly Vale continued to grow and with 276 children starting school at the beginning of the school year, further extensions to the school were ungently needed. Fund raising activities were increased, including the commissioning of the Wells organisation to spearhead the efforts, and sufficient money was raised to build a second floor on the school building.
Father O'Byrne & his assistant, Father Dennis O'Shea osa, organised the 'Wells System' to conduct a most successful 'planned giving' drive to raise money for the building of the new church.
A cottage next door to the allotments was also acquired. This was used as a meeting place for parish activities for some years and consequently reduced the pressure on the use of the school buildings for parish purposes.
Father Kieran O'Shea was appointed as parish priest
Father O'Shea proved very successful at raising funds — increasing the annual subscription pledged — and was looking forward to the time when he could build a church for the parish.
1962 & 1964
The parish rejoiced in the ordination of three young parishioners: John McCall & Abel van der Veer to the Augustinian Order and John Truman to the diocesan clergy.
The priory was enlarged by a four rooms addition.
On 9 June His Eminence Cardinal Sir Norman Thomas Gilroy blessed and officially opened the new church of St Kieran at Manly Vale. The church cost $140,000.
Father O'Shea was able to announce that St Kieran's was free of debt.
The parish now needed a meeting place to accommodate meetings of numerous groups in the parish & Father O'Shea purchased a cottage, for this purpose, at 73 Gordon Street.
Father Patrick Crilly osa was appointed parish priest. He purchased a house and property in King Street to provide for the continuing needs of the school, purchased a new electronic organ for the church and initiated a new 'planned give scheme'. He built a new priory, allowing the old living quarters to be changed into school offices.
Father Gerry Dullard replaced Father Crilly as parish priest. He continued the expansion of parish activities.
Father Tom Greally was appointed as the next parish priest of Manly Vale. He put a lot of energy into strengthening the parish community
Father Anthony Banks osa was appointed Parish Priest.
25 Year Celebrations were held in the Parish.
St Kieran's Parish Centre was blessed and opened by Most Reverend Bishop David Walker on 14 June.
Parish's 50th Year was celebrated.
Sr Josefa L Mabini osa ( Sr Josie) arrived from the Philippines as was appointed as Pastoral Associate Manly Vale Parish.
Father Peter Wieneke osa was appointed Parish Priest.
St Augustine's Brookvale closed as a church.
Parish Priests of St Kieran's
Ormonde, Father Daniel osa
Fitzsimons, Father Joseph osa
O'Byrne, Father James osa
O'Shea, Father Kieran osa
Crilly, Father Patrick osa
Dullard, Father Gerry osa
Greally, Father Tom osa
Banks, Father Anthony osa
Wieneke, Father Peter osa
Buckley, Father Brian osa