Parish turns 150 years

JUBILEE: Assistant priest Father Adrian Head and parish council and jubilee committee members John McGeever, Diana Misolv and Carmel Goodwin reflect on the history of St Mary's.
JUBILEE: Assistant priest Father Adrian Head and parish council and jubilee committee members John McGeever, Diana Misolv and Carmel Goodwin reflect on the history of St Mary's.

St Mary of the Angels Catholic Church will celebrate 150 years since the establishment of its parish in Port Lincoln, adopting the theme 'rejoice' for their celebrations.

Parish council and jubilee committee members have used the jubilee as an opportunity to reflect on the history of the parish.

The church was opened on August 29, 1869, and was given its name by Father Modestus Henderson, the first parish priest.

He arrived in Port Lincoln in January 1869, with only three previous visits to the area from Catholic priests having occurred.

Current assistant priest Father Adrian Head was ordained at St Mary's in 1961, left in 1964 and returned in 2016.

"It was my first parish as assistant priest, and will be my last parish as assistant priest," he said.

"It's nice to come back and find some of your friends still here."

Father Adrian said parish members had a wonderful spirit and the congregation was very multicultural.

"My years here were very pleasant, that's the amazing thing, there's a wonderful community spirit," he said.

"It's got a wonderful history this place."

Reflecting on influential priests and parish members that made up the parish's rich history, Father Adrian highlighted Father Laurie Quinn, who had envisioned the new church building and brought it to fruition in the 1980s, and Janie de Lacey, an orphaned Danish girl who was adopted by Father Jorgensen in the 1890s and was known for her passion for helping the poor.

Father Adrian also reflected on his reasons for becoming a priest.

"Monsignor Patty Coffey - if I'm a priest it's because of him...not only was he a holy priest but he was a happy one, happy all the time."

Celebrations begin from August 29, with a memorial mass at 7pm where a plaque dedicated to Father Laurie Quinn will be unveiled, followed by a youth event on August 30.

The jubilee celebrations are on September 1, with a finger-food luncheon and live music in a marquee behind the church after a special mass at 10.30am.

Tickets for the Sunday event can be purchased at the church office or by calling 8682 3725.