BEGINNINGS – Mary Immaculate Parish Eagle Vale NSW 2558
In 1976 the NSW Government made Campbelltown a Designated Growth Area. As a result of this decision there was huge growth in both private and public housing development in areas such as Rosemeadow, Woodbine and Claymore. The people followed where the houses were built. The Bishop of Wollongong saw the burgeoning need for the pastoral care of Catholics in these new areas.
Bishop Murray contacted the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) to provide this care for the people in Claymore and the surrounding area. After much thought, discussion and prayer, in 1982 two Oblate priests established themselves in Norman Crescent, Claymore. It was from this home that the seeds of the present Parish of Mary Immaculate were sown by Fathers John Coakley and Tony Maher.
Through home visits and home masses, the community began to grow. As numbers increased, weekend Mass was firstly celebrated in a local childcare centre near the silos at Eschol Park, then moved to Eschol Park Primary School for Saturday night Mass and Claymore Primary School hall for two Sunday Masses.
By the mid 1980s, a Catholic Primary School (St Mary’s) had been established on the site of the present Parish School of Mary Immaculate at Eagle Vale. It was now possible to have daily Mass in the Chapel which was incorporated into the school hall, each being divided by a large concertina wall which was opened on weekends. Seating was set up in the hall to allow for Saturday night and Sunday Masses. The hall served as both a spiritual and social focus for the emerging Mary Immaculate Community. We were still part of the Parish of St John the Evangelist at this time.
As housing developments continued to expand, the number of people increased and the community matured in size and faith. It was then decided that it was appropriate to establish the Parish of Mary Immaculate, Eagle Vale. Bishop Wilson formally proclaimed the Mary Immaculate community a Parish on 15th August, 1991.
By the late 1990s, the hall was no longer meeting the needs of the Parish. It was then decided by the Bishop, in consultation with Fr Vince Ryan OMI, that a new church would be built on the ground behind the hall. Bishop Philip Wilson blessed the foundation stone on 19th December, 1999 and the magnificent church we have now emerged over the following months. The Blessing and Opening Ceremony was held on 3rd November, 2000.
Just as the new church responded to the needs of the Parish, so have the Parish Priests and their Assistants responded to the spiritual and personal needs of their parishioners and the surrounding community.
In these times of change and challenges the Parish of Mary Immaculate continues its journey of faith. Alpha, Divine Renovation and the Plenary Council 2020, are all now being embraced by this community of faith. It is with faith, hope and love that we continue the work of bringing the living presence of Jesus Christ to all. We recognise that our mission is to evangelise and Be Mission by our example.