1873: St Monica’s Catholic Church, Footscray, Victoria.

Tenders for the erection of St Monica’s were advertised by the architect, T. A. Kelly, in June 1873[1]. The opening ceremony of St Monica’s was performed by the Rev J. Fitzpatrick on Sunday 3rd of May 1874 in the absence of Bishop Gould. The mass was read by Rev McGillicuddy and the dedication sermon performed by Rev J. F. Corbett[2]. To reduce the estimated ₤1,500 debt required to build the church, a Bazaar was held at the Footscray Town Hall on the 21st of May 1874[3] which ran for four days and was declared an outstanding success[4]. A number of fund raising activities were held in subsequent years but a considerable debt remained for nearly ten years until being declared debt free in October 1883[5]. On the Sunday the 6th of December 1885 the corner stone of the new extensions was laid[6] and the opening ceremony held on Sunday 16th May 1886[7]. The church was consecrated 16th November 1950[8]. Many further additions have been added since.

The church still contains some of the original Ferguson & Urie stock windows in the nave with the simple red and blue borders. Later stained glass was erected in the east end as a memorial to Rev P. Walshe which was created by William Montgomery and unveiled on Sunday the 9th August 1896[9]. A four light west window was created by Bill Gleeson in 1988. It would be likely that the original large east and west windows would have been identical in colouring and design as those few original two light windows that still remain in the nave.

Photos taken 20th February 2011.

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