History of Holy Trinity Parish

The First Church

The first reference to a church dedicated to the Holy Trinity appears in 1881 when the Freeman's Journal (2 July 1881) makes reference to a visit by the Archbishop of Sydney making a visit to Parramatta and Granville for the purpose of opening a new church in Granville. Construction of this church began in October 1880. The church was described as ".. comparatively small in size and has little architectural beauty, but is well furnished, affording as it does room for eighty persons." The paper also noted that further work on the church would be required - "The church in its present condition will be large enough for the requirements of the mission for months yet, then additions will be proceeded with" - to enable a much larger congregation.

Holy Trinity officially became a parish in 1886 incorporating Granville, Harris Park, Merrylands, Guildford and East Granville. Mary MacKillop established the Sisters of St Joseph in Granville from 1885.

Part of the church was blown down in 1895 and had to be rebuilt and extended. Cordinal Moran blessed and dedicated the extensions later in the same year.

The Church in 1908

In 1906, Cardinal Moran asked the parish priest at the time, Father Flahavan, to build a new church as the current church was becoming too small for the expanding population. Due to ill-health, Father Flahavan was unable to carry out Cardinal Moran's request but Father Flahavan's predecessor, Father Grace, was able to commence the building of the new church and see its completion. Unfortunately, given that the new church was the same size as the old church, it did little to accommodate the growth of new parishioners.

The second Holy Trinity Church on the corner of Randle and Grimwood Streets was opened in April 1907. In May 1908, the new church was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt and reopened in October 1908 and remained the church until the present church was opened in 1965. After extensive heritage renovation, the 1907/1908 church (which had become known as ‘the brown hall’) was re-opened in 2008 and renamed MacKillop Hall. The image shown is of the church before the fire.

The Current Church 1975

The history of the current church goes back to 1960 when parishioners, under the guidance of Father Patrick Brennan (Parish Priest between 1953 - 1968), formed a committee to investigate the possibility of erecting a new church on the site to replace the existing church which was opened in 1908.

The foundation stone of the new church was blessed and laid by Cardinal Gilroy, Archbishop of Sydney, on 23 May, 1965.

On 28 November 1965, the Auxillary Bishop to his Eminence Cardinal Gilroy, the Most Rev J P Carroll, blessed and opened the church. The church was dedicated to the memory of members of the three armed services who gave their lives for their country during World Wars I and II. Because of this, the church is also known as the Holy Trinity War Memorial Church.

In 2015, the parish celebrated the 50 Year Jubilee of The Holy Trinity Parish War Memorial Church. On Sunday 29 November, a Mass of the Golden Jubilee of the Dedication of the Holy Trinity Church was held. Over 600 people attended the Mass. This was followed by the inaugural Parish Fair. Over $14,000 was raised from the fair to aid in the repairs and the maintenance of the Church.

History of the Parish Schools

The Patrician Brothers arrived in 1942 to open their regional primary and high school, after accepting an invitation given to them by Monsignor J J McGovern (Parish Priest of Holy Trinity Parish between 1941 - 1953) to open a school in the parish. The school was a focal point of boys education from that point; however, the 1990s saw developments that would affect the school. These developments were the slow decline in Patrician Brothers involvement in the parish and falling student enrolments.

This prompted the Parramatta Catholic Education Office to consult with the Brothers, priests and parents about the future direction of the school. The decision was made to update the current facilities in the school and open up the school as a senior secondary co-educational school. In 1997 the school was renamed Delany College after the founder of the Patrician Brothers. The Patrician charism continues at Delany and whilst only one brother remains on staff the Province takes an active interest in supporting and encouraging Delany’s ideals. Of note at Delany today is the large Catholic Intensive English Centre which assists many new arrivals to Australia to become competent in their language and way of life here.

The Sisters of Saint Joseph have had a long history in the parish. They were founded in Granville in 1885. The first community consisted of five nuns, three of whom were teaching in a rented house used as a school.

Owing to an increase in students, the order was compelled to secure a property on the corner of Woodville Road and William Street where a new convent and boarding school was built, the work beginning in 1915.

The current school building was opened in 1934. In 1943, the Sisters also opened a school in East Granville which, at that time, was still part of the Granville community. The nuns travelled to and from this school every day. In 1967, the school was placed under lay administration and in 1977, the convent was closed owing to its size and its need of repairs.

The period 1994-1995 saw a major refurbishment of the school with extensive modernisation to the existing buildings and the construction of a new library to cater for the needs of the school.

The Vietnamese Sisters of Mary Queen Of The World have had a presence in Granville since 1977 and occupy both the former Josephite Convent and former Patrician Brothers Monastery. The sisters are involved in a variety of outreach programs including visitation of the sick and elderly, the childcare centre in Waratah Street and the religious goods store in Jamieson Street.

Extensive use was made of "Holy Trinity Granville - Celebrating 125 Years 1886 - 2012" by John Portelli on the History and Parish Church Pages of the Website