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 St. Mark's Parish History

Adapted from Beginning History of St. Mark's

written by Sr. Mary St. Gregory, Foundation Staff Member

 

The Parish was blessed in 1958.

The parish was not always called St. Mark's. Initially it was the Parish of the Divine Word. The first priest who came to Inala belonged to the Society of the Divine Word and his name was Fr. Kasprus. He purchased a house on the corner. This is where he lived, where Mass was said and where all parish activities were carried out. Not all people could not fit inside the house, so they stood in the yard and occasionally had a peep through a window. Army huts were obtained and joined together to make a temporary church. In 1958 it was blessed and opened by Archbishop Duhig. Fr. Kasprus was not young and Inala grew rapidly. The strain began to tell on Father's health and so the Archbishop was asked to staff the parish with Diocesan priests.

St Mark's Church - 1956
St Mark's Church - 1981
St Mark's Church Today
 

Fr. Lyons asked if he could go to Inala. He had a vision for this new satellite suburb. He guided a culturally diverse group of Catholic people. Parishioners of all ages shared, in various ways, the honour and excitement of establishing a visible, worshipping community at St. Mark's.

Fr. Lyons wanted to establish a school in the parish. He began to work on this in 1971. He wanted the school to be staffed by the Sisters of Mercy. The first teachers at St. Mark's School were three Mercy sisters. Since there was no convent at Inala then the sisters lived in the convent at Goodna. Each day Fr. Lyons or Fr. Hatch, the Curate, would drive them to and from school. On Sunday the sisters would go to Mass at Inala, and after Mass would teach religion to the Catholic children who attended the state schools in the area. In the afternoon they would walk, map in hand, and visit the families in their homes. All the streets looked the same then and it was very easy to lose one's way. The sisters wore long black dresses but they became very adept at hopping over the low fences when chased by a dog!

Fr. Lyons never ceased working for the good of St. Marks. Every day he was cutting and clearing and was seen more in his straw hat driving a tractor than in his collar!. He worked extremely hard and expected everyone else to do the same. He passed away in 2002 but was always happy to talk about the early days in Inala.

 

St. Mark's - Clearly and Boldly