St Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Thornbury

1 Rossmoyne Street Thornbury

In February 1916 St Mary's Catholic Church was opened by the Archbishop of Melbourne, accompanied by Very Reverend Dean McCarthy and Reverend Murphy. A number of prominent local people were also there including the Mayor Cr. A. Mason, Councillors, Gray, Henderson, Cain, Dennis, Redmond and Williams. Cr. Redmond welcomed the Archbishop and the large crowd, which was too large to fit into the church. 

The Advocate, covering the opening, could not help but have a dig at the other denominations, stating

'The difference between the belief of Catholics and non-Catholics was that the former felt perfectly secure in their Faith, whilst the latter were tossed about by every wind of faith.'

It was this faith, the Advocate argued, which enabled the Northcote community to raise a subscription list of £1,050. Notable donors included Mr and Mrs. Herbert £100, Reverend Murphy £50 and Sisters and children of St. Joseph's £25. The Herbert's also contributed a statue of the Sacred Heart, a crucifix and the alter linen.

A few weeks later Reverend J. J. Malone from Clifton Hill delivered an impressive sermon regarding the doctrine of prayers for the dead which was said to be very convincing.

The total cost of building the church came in at £3,049, with land costing £198. Land was also purchased to enable the establishment of a school. A wooden building in use at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Northcote was brought up to Thornbury to use as a temporary school.  In February 1925 Archbishop Mannix laid the foundation stone for the new school.

The Advocate, 26 February 1916, p. 13
Preston Leader, 4 March 1916, p.5