Mitcham, VIC St John's Catholic

Year Built: 1959

Denomination: Roman Catholic

Address: 490 Whitehorse Road, Mitcham, Victoria, 3132

Architect: Unknown

Traditional Owners: Wurundjeri people

Last Updated: 26/08/2022

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History and Architecture:

In order to help the first Catholic families and to attend to their spiritual needs, Fr. William Mason Finn, who had a horse, travelled from the district of Warringal (now Heidelberg) and called on the families he knew to be Catholics, His parish extended from Warringal to the foothills of Mount Dandenong.

One of the earliest priests was Fr. Edward Nolan, S.J., who rode a big black horse called Tobin. He was assisted by Frs. Joseph Dalton, S.J., and Aloysius Kranewitter, S.J. They celebrated Mass in the homes of the families that they called on, carrying the requisites for Mass in their saddle bags.

The first church was opened in 1872. Father Dalton was present at the laying of the foundation stone.The condition of the old wooden church became worse as the years went by and was propped up by large wooden beams, two each side, to hold it up. Windows that were open stayed that way; those that were shut remained permanently closed and, at the sanctuary end, the floor and stumps had sunk so far that the parishioners said that going to communion was like walking down hill. Weddings had to be performed at Ring-wood. It is claimed that, from the late 1940s until it was demolished in 1952.

From 1952 to 1980 the Catholic church functioned in a refurbished Nissen hut. Before the present church was built a primary school was opened in 1959 on an adjoining site.

The peaceful garden surrounds of St John's Church is the setting for the St John's Memorial Garden.  Plaques to remember those who have died have been placed on the bell tower in the driveway of the Church and are now being placed on the wall outside the east door of the church.


This list may not contain every serving cleric, past or present, for this church.
Further submissions welcomed.

Years Name Annotation D.o.B D.o.D
1854 - 1889 Father Dalton
1854 - 1889 Father Madden
1854 - 1889 Father Nolan
1854 - 1889 Father Daly
1854 - 1889 Father Finn
1854 - 1889 Father Kranewitter
1920 - 1921 Father Michael Finan From Ringwood
1922 - 1923 Father John McKeon From Ringwood
1924 - 1931 Father John Donovan From Ringwood
1931 - 1933 Father Adrian Hughes From Ringwood
1933 - 1936 Father Thomas Keogh From Ringwood 1975
1936 - 1952 Father Francis O'Toole From Ringwood 1973
1951 - Father Peyton
1952 - 1968 Father Coghlan 1968
1952 - 1968 Father Brian Charles Lay Curate 1961
1952 - 1968 Father Keith Pollard Curate
1952 - 1968 Father Jim Briglia Curate 2008
1968 - 1969 Father Douglas Lyons 1969
1969 - 1985 Father William Durkin 2002
1969 - 1985 Father John Bradly Curate
1969 - 1985 Father Bill Gill Curate
1969 - 1985 Father Les Tomlinson Curate
1969 - 1985 Father Kevin Burke Curate
1969 - 1985 Father Michael Elligate Curate
1985 - Father Kevin Dillon
1985 - Father Brian Quinn Curate
1985 - Father Greg Pritchard Curate
1985 - Father Brendan Torr Asst
2012 - 2019 Father Mark Reynolds approx commencment date
2020 - Father Dispin John


No information currently available. Submissions welcomed.


1. Victorian Places
2. Church Website
3. The History of St John's Mitcham. Syd Wright. LH 282.9451 WRI
4. Deceased Clergy in Australia, 1788-present.