History At a Glance

Although it became the most recently completed Cathedral in Australia in 2003, the history of St Patrick’s can be traced as far back as 1792, when five local Catholic lay people petitioned Governor Philip to appoint a priest to minister Parramatta.

In 1803 it was announced by Governor King that Fr James Dixon would fill the role.

The first Mass in Parramatta was celebrated by Fr Dixon on 22 May 1803, but his appointment was revoked after the ‘Vinegar Hill Rebellion’ at Castle Hill in 1804. Mass wasn’t celebrated in Parramatta again until 1820, and St Patrick’s was official established in 1827.

The Foundation Stone for St Patrick’s at the 1 Marist Place Parramatta site was laid on 17 March 1836 and the church was consecrated on 28 May 1837. A larger church was commissioned in 1854, with the Foundation Stone laid on 13 August of that year. The 1880s saw the addition of St Patrick’s tower and spire.

In 1936, a new church was built on the site to meet the needs of a growing congregation, with its opening held on 31 May 1936.

In 1986, St Patrick’s was designated a Cathedral with the establishment of the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta.

On 19 February 1996, the Cathedral was destroyed by fire. The destruction of the Cathedral evoked extraordinary feeling in the community, and a lengthy process began to raise funds and develop designs for the rebuilding of the 1936 church.On 29 November 2003 the new St Patrick’s Cathedral was dedicated. The old St Patrick’s Cathedral is now a Blessed Sacrament Chapel and adjoining it is a large contemporary Cathedral.


The full history of St Patrick’s Cathedral, including the Dedication Mass of the new Cathedral is detailed in the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta's extensive History section.

Go to History of St Patrick's Cathedral