History

The Sacred Heart Parish of North Albury was established in 1955, with the Rev. Fr. S.A. Bongiorno as the Parish Priest.

The “presbytery” was actually a house in Kokoda St North Albury, and all meetings and general business was conducted from there. Mass was celebrated at the Sacred Heart School which was in Wagga Rd (about where the indoor swimming pool is now) and also in a hall on Buckingham St, North Albury.

With the rapid expansion of North Albury/Lavington districts, the parish set about a building plan, which included a Church, a presbytery, school and hall. The first building to be completed was St Anne’s school, which was built by voluntary labour. Father Bongiorno has “the knack” of getting parishioners interested in his building program and each weekend for months and months a large number of parishioners would work, and under his direction built the school at a cost which was virtually only for the materials used!

The next building to be completed was the Church, which was finished in 1959 at a cost of ₤39,000, which included all furnishings. The Church was designed by the late Mr Bill Purtell and was built by the late Mr Bob Garland, and his sons Reg and Ken. On its completion it was described as “an architectural and devotional gem”. Shortly before the completion of the Church, one night during a storm, the roof of the Church was blown off and landed across the road where the Girl Guides hall is now. Many parishioners spent the early hours of the next day mopping up and cleaning up the mess created by the storm!

Next followed the very comfortable and spacious presbytery, which was needed at this time because the parish then had a parish priest and two curates! This was completed in 1961 at a cost of ₤15,000. Then followed the building of the parish hall a short time later. It’s interesting to note that the hall, as it is now, was actually the supper room and the carpark as it is now, was where the actual hall was going to be built.

It is also interesting to note that at one stage the erection of a convent at North Albury was considered. The buildings that you see now, some 50 years later are an eloquent testimony and a fitting memorial to the faith, courage, generosity and self-sacrifice of the early parishioners of Sacred Heart.

During the past fifty years the faith of the parish has been very strong, beginning with the Sodalites in the early years. The Holy Name Society, Sacred Heart Women’s Sodality, the Children of Mary and the Christian Country Youth movement were all very strong in the Parish.

The Parish has been blessed with three Parish Priests over these years. The first was Rev. S. Bongiorno, then followed the Rev. R. Leaver and the third is our current Parish Priest, the Rev. K. Flanagan.