History

Missions/Parishes Responsible for Gymea’s Catholic Community 1887-1957
Hurstville-Kogarah Mission          1887-1916
St Declan’s Parish, Penshurst 1916-1924
St Aloysius Parish, Cronulla 1924-1934
St Patrick’s Parish, Sutherland 1934-1951
St Mary Star of the Sea, Miranda 1951-1957

Key dates in the history of Gymea Parish

1931 Fr Henry McDonald celebrates First Mass at Gymea School of Arts
1948 Fr Patrick McManus starts purchasing land at Gymea
1952 Meeting at O’Reilly family home to pursue plans for a Gymea Church. The first (timber) St Catherine’s Church opened later that year.
1953 Fr HW (Mick) Slattery purchases additional land at Gymea
1954 Sisters of St Joseph of Orange, California open St Catherine’s School, Gymea. Sr Marie Therese Johnstone CSJ is appointed Principal.
1958 Establishment of Gymea Parish and appointment of Fr Edward (Ned) Wilkinson as first Parish Priest.
1959 Opening of Second St Catherine’s Church
1961 Blessing and Opening of new St Catherine’s Parish School
1972 Fire destroys several classrooms and amenities at St Catherine’s school
1978 Mr Des Connolly appointed first lay Principal of St Catherine’s school
1979 Fr William (Bill) Hannon appointed second Parish Priest
1989 Fr Hannon blesses site of new Church building
1990 Opening of third St Catherine’s church
2004 Fr John McCaffrey appointed third Parish Priest of Gymea. Due to illness, was forced to retire early.
2005 Monsignor Brian Rayner appointed fourth Parish Priest of Gymea.
2008 Golden Jubilee celebrations of Gymea Parish; Opening of new school buildings
2018 60th Anniversary of Gymea Parish, 45th Anniversary of Mgr Rayner’s Ordination
2019 Completion of further renovations to St Catherine’s school