Rev Peter Lamont
Where it all began
First evidence of Mass in this area was in 1855, in a converted barn near Ermington House, behind Ryde-Parramatta Golf Course. From 1857, Ryde Parish extended to the eastern part of what is now Rydalmere. Priests from Parramatta attended to the western end.
In 1849, Archbishop Polding purchased the Vineyard Estate on the Parramatta River and named it Subiaco, after the site near Rome where St Benedict retired to meditate. He established a Benedictine Convent and visiting priests often said Mass for the parishioners. Rydalmere Parish was severed from Ryde in 1876, although it was probably called Dundas at the time.
In 1886, Thomas O’Neill purchased and subdivided part of Vineyard Estate into 79 lots naming the area ‘Rydalmere’ and donating one block for a church. First mention of Rydalmere as a parish was when Cardinal Moran blessed the church-school on 18 September 1889. Rev Ed Kearney was pastor and was also responsible for the Hospital for the Insane. Records show that ‘in 1912, most Catholics in the parish were insane’ – 312 parishioners and 360 in the hospital.
In 1915, fire destroyed the church in mysterious circumstances. The historic house ‘Truganini’ in South Street was used for Mass and the school. Archbishop Kelly laid the foundation stone for the second church-school in 1916. The school closed in 1941, but after World War II came large scale housing developments in the area and the school reopened in 1949. More extensions were completed in December 1957 and April 1958. More school buildings were completed in 1976, coinciding with the departure of the Sisters of Mercy from the parish.
Rev Steve Ford died in 1981, after 32 years as Parish Priest. He was succeeded by Rev John McCaffery. With the changes to church liturgy following Vatican II and the need for extensive repairs to the existing church, the parish decided in 1988 to construct a modern building in Myrtle Street. It was dedicated by Bishop Bede Heather in August 1989.
1989 was also the centenary of the parish. Extensive refurbishment of the former church was then undertaken. Now known as our parish hall, it is used extensively by both the school and parish communities. Fr John McCaffery died on 17 July 2006. Fr John was Parish Priest for 22 years. The current Parish Priest is Fr Peter Lamont.
Baptisms at Holy Name of Mary Rydalmere Parish are performed on the 2nd Sunday of the month at 11:30am. Please download the form using the button below and return it to the parish office by email/post/hand delivery.
By appointment. Please contact the parish office.
The Sacramental programs includes First Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation.
For more information, please contact the Parish Office,
or the Sacramental Co-ordinator Diane O'Shea on (02 9613 8801).
Please contact the Parish Priest about “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults” (RCIA) program.