A brief history of St Augustine’s parish, Yass

Lovat Chapel, Yass. Photo: Chris Gordon

Lovat Chapel, Yass. Photo: Chris Gordon

This year St Augustine’s parish celebrates 180 years. Here is a potted history of what has gone before.

1821 – The Yass Plains were discovered by Hamilton Hume.

1824 – Hamilton Hume and William Hovell journeyed south to Port Phillip. Settlers followed.

1833 – Rev Fr John Joseph Therry, who came from Cork and spoke Irish, said the first Mass in the area.

1835 – The town of Yass was gazetted. Then Bishop Polding, who was sympathetic to the Irish, came to Australia. He gave his name to Polding Street in Yass, whilst Meehan Street in Yass is named after another pioneer Australian Catholic, Mr James Meehan, a surveyor of early Australia.

1837 – Already money was being collected to build a church.

1838 (March 31) – Surveyors marked out two acres for the church, its presbytery and a school.

1838 (August 27) – The foundation stone of the first church in Yass was laid by Archbishop Polding.

1956 – The present church on the Canberra side of Meehan Street was opened but already there were other buildings, most notably the school, all of which are still in use, by the Church and the community.

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  • Heather Hickey 2 years

    I am hoping you may be able to help me. I am trying to find images of past Sisters of Mercy. Who were at the Yass convent in the 1880s Mother Philomena Hickey and Sister Agnes Hickey they were sisters from Kilkenny Ireland. Any Assistance you can give me would be greatly appreciated. I Look foward to your reply.Regards Heather L Hickey