Timeline of St Joseph Belmore

1894 – The first church in the Canterbury district was St Anthony’s at Canterbury. It was at the junction of Howard, High and Canton Streets. It was blessed and opened by His Eminence Cardinal Moran on 11 November 1894.

1895 – The Railway line from Sydenham to Belmore was opened in February.

1905 – Clergy from canterbury began to celebrate Mass in Bradburns Hall in Belmore. Organisation of a buiding committee.

1906 – Foundation stone of St Joseph’s Church Belmore is blessed by Cardinal Moran on 10 June 1906.

1907 – First St Joseph’s Church officially opened on 12 May 1907. There was no resident Priest. The parish was serviced from Canterbury.

1914 – 1918 – WORLD WAR I, Australia is at war.

1915 – St Anthony’s Church at Canterbury was dismantled and rebuilt in Evaline Street, Campsie.

1916 – Additions to the first Church are made at a cost on £550.

1919 – Fr Dennis Conaghan is put in charge of St Joseph’s in December 1919. He is officially appointed as Parish Priest on 11 January 1926 and ministers to the Parish for the next twenty years.

1920 – On 4 February, Fr Conaghan wrote from “Thormond” Godfrey Street asking Fr Kelly for permission to begin a school. He wrote that there were 236 children of school age and that he would ask the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart to run the school. They would live in the convent at Campsie while one was built at Belmore.

1921 – Classes commenced in the school at Belmore, there are 208 children. Two classes were taught in the body of the Church and infants in the Choir Gallery.

1922 – The new Presbytery is blessed by the newly appointed Coadjutor Archbishop Dr Sheehan on 1 Dec 1922.

1923 – The convent is opened on Canterbury Road.

1925 – Fr Cletus Heffernan appointed first Assistant Priest.

1926 – Fr Dennis Conaghan officially appointed Parish Priest on 11 January 1926. The second school is opened by Archbishop Kelly with 292 pupils, and laid the foundation stone on 26 January 1926.

1929 – A school in Lakemba begins with 193 pupils.

1935 – Lakemba parish and schools separate from Belmore. An extension is made to St Joseph’s school. Some classes are held in the Scout Hall on Burwood Road.

1936 – A second floor is added to the school with 316 pupils at the school. The bottom floor becomes the church.

1937 – The priests and sisters exchange residences.

1939 – In April, Fr Conaghan is transferred to Maroubra and Fr John McCarthy appointed Parish Priest with 269 pupils at the school.

1939 – 1945 – WORLD WAR II

1954 – Cardinal Gilroy blessed the new presbytery and laid the foundation stone on 4 April 1954 (the 3rd Church).

1955 – Fr John McCarthy dies in December 1955.

1956 – Fr Maurice McCarthy (brother of the late Fr John McCarthy) appointed Parish Priest in February 1956.

1957 – Cardinal Gilroy officially opened the Church on 9 October 1957.

1962 – The statue of St Joseph was erected on the front of the Church on his Feast Day, 19 March 1962.

1965 – Fr Maurice dies in December 1965.

1967 – February 1967 Fr H (Mick) Slattery is appointed Parish Priest. New school opened by Bishop Muldoon on site of original church on 10 September 1967.

1968 – 333 pupils, four sisters and three lay teachers in school.

1974 – Old convent is demolished and a new one built. Fr Slattery moves to Maroubra in December 1974.

1975 – Fr John Lyne appointed Parish Priest in January 1975.

1976 – New primary school is blessed and opened by Cardinal Freeman on 25 July 1976 with 450 pupils at school, four sisters and 10 lay teachers.

1978 – The old church/school is renovated, with school downstairs and Housie downstairs in November 1978.

1986 – School administration block and renovations completed. The McCarthy Centre officially blessed and opened by Archbishop Clancy on 5 October 1986. Sr Maria Harrex, the last Sister of St Joseph in the school.

1987 – The first lay principal, Mrs Fran Williamson is appointed.

1990 – Fr Bob Hickman appointed Parish Priest on 10 January 1990.

1998 – The redesigned school is opened and blessed by Cardinal Clancy on 30 August 1998, with 345 pupils.

2005 – Sisters of St Joseph vacates Convent.

2008 – Dominican Sisters of St Cecelia, Nashville resides in Convent in preparation for Sydney World Youth Day – WYD08.

2010 – Vietnamese Sisters – Lovers of the Holy Cross, take up residence in the Convent in January 2010.

2011 – Blessings and opening of new and refurbished school buildings by Fr James Collins SM on 22 July 2011.

2019 – St Joseph Parish Centenary celebrations on 19 January 2019. A centenary plaque is blessed by Auxillary Bishop Terry Brady. Cardinal Mafi of Tonga, former Clergy as well as other clergy from other parishes join in the celebrations.

2023 – Reverend Deacon Christopher Roehrig is appointed as Deacon for the parish on 1 October by His Grace, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP.