St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Fingal


Opened 1880.
Victoria St, Fingal. Google maps


NEW CHURCH. The ceremony of blessing the corner stone and foundation of a Church dedicated to the Almighty, under the patronage of St. Joseph, was performed at Fingal on Wednesday, the 21st ult., by His Lordship the Bishop of Hobart Town, assisted by the Right Rev. Dr. Murray, Bishop of Maitland, N.S.W. The site of the new Church commands a full view of the town and neighbouring country, and the Church, when completed, will, doubtless, prove an ornament to Fingal, and supply a want long felt by the Catholic community. The design has been furnished by H. Hunter, Esq., and shows a chancel 14 x 12 feet; nave, 40 x 19; sacristy, 11 x 10; and porch, 7 x 8. The latter is to be at the west end of the building, and the total length of the building will, therefore, be 61 feet. The material to be used is a very hard kind of limestone, quarried on the ground with freestone dressings, and the contractor, Mr. Lattin, is determined to build a substantial and ornamental edifice. Shortly after 11 a.m. the Bishops of Hobart Town and Maitland arrived on the ground, accompanied by the Rev. P. R. Henneby, M. H. Ryan, and T. Kelsh.
Advocate (Melbourne), 15 December 1877


Thursday, April 1st, was the day appointed for the opening and consecrating the new Roman Catholic Church at Fingal. In spite of it having rained almost incessantly for the two days previous there was a great number present both from a distance and the immediate neighbourhood. At about eleven o’clock the ceremony commenced.

The church is prettily situated on rising ground behind and overlooking the village of Fingal, and is built on, I think, by far the best site that could have been selected for such an edifice; the view of the township and outlying lands with the winding Esk and Ben Lomond in the distance is unqualified.

Shortly after eleven o’clock the Church doors opened, and His Lordship the Bishop, attended by the Revs. Fathers O’Reilly, Kelsh, Gilleran, and Murphy, proceeded to consecrate the building. After the procession had gone round the outside they entered the church, followed by all those assembled, which completely filled the church. His Lordship then traversed the in side of the church, sprinkling the walls with holy water, and then, that ceremony being ended, the Rev. Father Gilleran preached an eloquent and most suitable sermon in honour of the occasion, in which he stated that the building was dedicated to St. Joseph. After that the Rev. Father O’Reilly served mass, and then it having been explained by the Bishop that there was a debt left on the building, a collection was made, and the handsome sum of £65 was gathered in the building.

His Lordship congratulated Rev. Father Kelsh on having such a beautiful church in which to perform the functions of his religion; he also said that the Catholics of Fingal had done honour to themselves and also to the great St. Joseph, the patron saint of the church, by erecting such a handsome and substantial building. Rev. Father Kelsh warmly thanked all his friends for their past aid, and also the kind friends of other denominations who had not been behind hand in assisting, and expressed a wish to meet all those present at luncheon which had been prepared in honour of the occasion. The proceedings then terminated. I must not forget one feature of the ceremony–the beautiful singing of the choir, consisting of ladies from Launceston-Misses Sullivan, Harvey, Ellis, and Mr J. S. Harvey. The music was much enjoyed by all.

After the opening ceremony was over most of those present wended their way towards Mr John Gatty’s well-known hotel, where a free lunch had been provided for all comers. The tables fairly groaned under the good things artistically arranged on them, and reflected the greatest credit on Mrs Gatty, to whom all the praise is due for successfully carrying out this part of the programme. The luncheon was held in the malthouse connected with the hotel, which was tastefully decorated with ferns flowers, etc., and had a very pretty appearance. After justice had been done to the good things, the Rev Father Kelsh rose and in a neat silence proposed the health of his Lordship Bishop Murphy–drank with all honours. His Lordship suitably replied, and said how pleased he was to be present at such a gathering and on such an occasion, and reiterated that the Catholics had done themselves and the district honour by erecting such a structure in the district. Several other toasts were drunk, and a very enjoyable entertainment ended by Rev. Father Kelsh proposing the health of “friends of other denominations,” coupling the toast with the name of the Warden, R. Carter, Esq. His Worship suitably responded, and shortly after the bulk of the people retired.
Launceston Examiner, 6 April 1880

One thought on “St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Fingal

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    Patricia Rubenach

    March 18, 2018 at 12:45pm

    Another beautiful church
    I believe has closed owing to a decline in parishioners.

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