ROSALIE’S famous brick church that was nearly destroyed by a fire in 1942 turns 100 next week.
Bishop Ken Howell will mark the centenary of Sacred Heart Church, Rosalie, with a Mass on June 16, the day before the grand Romanesque church turns 100.
Long-time parishioner Anne Hampson has worshipped at the church for 62 years and in that time has seen four priests serve the community.
Mrs Hampson said the church was a highly spiritual place.
“I’m always drawn to the church,” she said. “I just feel I can go in there at any time, no matter how I’m feeling. If I’m worried about anything, that church is just so calming for me to go in.”
The retired married woman who is involved in nearly every parish ministry said she was inspired by the church community’s care and compassion for the wider community.
“It’s just this really strong community that we have and we look after each other,” Mrs Hampson said. “New people when they come, they welcome them and try and get them involved.
“They really say they enjoy being in a parish where they’re made to feel welcome and they can mix in with everything we do.”
Deborah Wild is one of those parishioners who 16 years ago was welcomed into the community after being away from the Church for some years.
“I reconnected with the Catholic Church at the time when I had my children and I wanted them to be confirmed and baptised,” Mrs Wild said.
“I was welcomed by a lady called Cate Mapstone and it was that coming into the Church, after being away from it for a period of time, feeling welcome, feeling that you belonged, and that you have something to offer and can contribute when you wanted to.
“It was that coming-home type of feeling.”
Mrs Wild said, unlike other churches in Brisbane, the doors of Sacred Heart Church were always open.
“They’re inviting you to come in,” she said.
The present brick church is actually the third sacred building to have been built at Given Terrace, Paddington.
After the community had worshipped in two different churches, Archbishop James Duhig laid the foundation stone for Sacred Heart Church in 1917 to cater for the increasing number of Catholics in the area.
In 1942 the church was almost completely destroyed by a fire but was restored to new life and reopened in 1943. Last year the church underwent a second renovation worth about $500,000.
The original pews were stripped back to show the scorch marks from the 1942 fire.
Sacred Heart Church is one of seven churches in Brisbane’s Jubilee parish, and under the care of Fr Gerry Kalinowski.
Fr Kalinowski said the Sacred Heart community embodied the nature of its patron, the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
“It is under the patronage of the Sacred Heart, of the merciful, unconditional overflowing love of God for us, and then the people who gather there are to be that mercy and compassion into the world, as it stands on top of the hill,” he said.
The centenary Mass will be held at Sacred Heart Church on June 16 at 4.30pm.