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St Malachys Catholic Church

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Fast Facts
Type of organisation: Religious

Street name: Wasleys
Street suffix: road
Town or locality: Mallala
Date established: 1882
Established by: Dr. Reynolds
Business or purpose: Religious services and education
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On April 16th 1882 the Bishop of Adelaide Dr. Reynolds laid the foundation stone of St. Malachys Catholic Church. It was located on the corner of Wasleys road and Elizabeth street Mallala and the land had been donated by Mr. Peter Farrelly. Many fund raising events were held to pay for the cost of the building including an annual picnic and a Bazaar. The stone for the building was quarried and carted from the property of Mr Henry Augustine Judd at Dublin and each trip would take a day. A small chapel was erected and on the 19th. November 1882 it was opened and blessed. Father Byrne, a Carmelite priest based in Gawler, was placed in charge and he serviced the Mallala area.

In 1912 due to lack of space to accommodate the growing congregation, it was agreed to renovate and enlarge the building and the work was placed in the hands of architects Messrs Woods and Bagot with local builder Mr Cheney winning the building contract.

The formal ceremony of reopening and blessing of St Malachys church was held on 14th March 1913 and performed by the Very Reverend T.F.O'Neil P.P. of Gawler and assisted by the Rev. Father Barrett. The congregation was very large - some motoring long distances. Father O'Neil then celebrated Mass and a combined choir from Mallala and Hamley Bridge was applauded for their efforts.

On 26th August 1914 a Bazaar was held by the Catholic community and the Rev. Father Denny asked Lady Butler to declare the fair open. Mr H.E. Hallion proposed a vote of thanks and was seconded by Mr. J.J. McCabe. Lady Butler responded. "Great credit is due to the ladies who worked assiduously to make the fair a success" The Bazaar was open for two days and raised an amount of 250 pounds. The event concluded with a dance for the young people until the wee small hours of the morning.

All the church windows are dedicated to the memory of the pioneers of the congregation as follows:

  • Henry and Bridget Judd and family,
  • Henry and Janet Hallion,
  • Patrick and Mary Farrelly,
  • Parents of George and Wilhemina West and family,
  • Parents of George - brother of John Hall,
  • Daniel and Catherine Fahey and family,
  • Parents of James and Mary Hall,
  • Parents of Thomas and Emily Ormsby.

The furnishings carry plaques naming the donors. The building is well painted and is set in an area of shrubs and trees. The property was enhanced when the fence was renewed, and the retaining of the original gates is significant in recognising the wonderful history of the building.

Records received from the archivist Catholic Church office, Adelaide S.A:

Priests who have served Mallala from 1882:

  • 1882 - 1902:

Father Byrne

Father Kelly, O.C.C.

Father Patrick Carr, O.C.C.

Father Magennis

Father Murphy

Father Kindelan, O.C.C.

In 1902 the Carmelites moved from Gawler to Pt. Adelaide and the secular priests took charge.

  • 1903 - Father T.F. O'Neil assisted by Father F. Adamson
  • 1903-1903 - Father O'Neil assisted by Father E. Phelam
  • 1906 - Father J.A. Kindelan while Father O'Neil was in Ireland
  • 1907-1909 - Father T.F. O'Neil
  • 1910 - Father T.F. O'Neil and Father C. James
  • 1911-1914 - Father O'Neil and Father Michael Brady
  • 1915-1923 - Father R.P. Denny
  • 1924 - Father F. Kenny M.S.C.
  • 1925-1928 - Father R.P. Denny
  • 1929 - vacant
  • 1939-1934 - Father J.A. Gatzemeyer
  • 1935-1947 - Father R. Farrelly
  • 1948-1949 - Father W. Connors, M.S.C.
  • 1949-1950 - Father R. Farrelly
  • 1950-1954 - Father W. Connors (relieving until Father Noone was appointed)
  • 1954-1980 - Father E. Noone
  • 1980-1986 - Father Patrick Kelly
  • 1986-1994 - Father Kevin Hay
  • 1994-1997 - Father David Thoroughgood
  • 1997-2001 - Father Stephen Brooks, also Parish Priest of Balaklava
  • 2001 - Father Jack Boog, also Parish Priest of Balaklava

Related Articles


  • Mallala Museum research
  • St. Malachys - Mallala
  • 120th Anniversary Booklet
  • 17th November 2002
Saint Malachy's Church Mallala
Saint Malachy's Church Mallala
St Malachy's church Mallala
St Malachy's church Mallala

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