A Catholic Monthly Magazine

A ‘Gate of Heaven’ in Australia

It was in 1868, on the very day of the funeral of the late Parish Priest and dear friend of the Marists, Archdeacon MacEnroe, that the Marist Fathers were asked by Archbishop Polding to staff the parish of St Patrick’s. This they gladly did. It was on September 20, that year the Feast of Our Lady of the Seven Dolours, a moveable feast in those days, that the first Marist Parish Priest was installed in St Patrick’s -- Father Joseph Monnier.

Soon after Father Monnier there came to St Patrick’s a trio who were affectionately known as “The Shamrock of St Patrick’s” -- rather an ingenuous title when you rememmber that they were three Frenchmen -- their names are always linked in those early days -- Fr Le Rennetel, Fr Ginisty and Father Piquet. Each in turn was parish priest of St Pat’s.

-- from the address given at St Patrick’s by Fr Patrick Abbot SM on the People’s Day centenary celebration, based on the text, “Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Indeed the Lord is in this place.’ And trembling, he said, ‘How awe-inspiring this place is. This is none other than the house of God and the gate of heaven’.” (Genesis 28:16f)   

December 1968     

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