Holy Family Parish, established in 1946, is part of the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta. The Diocese is made up of 49 parishes and 83 Catholic schools. The Diocese is home to around 330,000 Catholics in one of the fastest-growing areas of New South Wales, Australia. Most Reverend Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv DD is the fourth Bishop of Parramatta, appointed on 5 May 2016 in succession to Bishop Anthony Fisher OP.

Holy Family Parish is located in the suburb of East Granville, close to the main regional centre of Parramatta.











The parish of Holy Family, East Granville, owes its beginnings to Rev John Haplin of the mother parish of Holy Trinity who was responsible for gathering the faithful in the Trongate section of Granville Parish. The Mass Centre at GEPA (Granville East Progress Association) Hall, the Trongate, (rented since May 1936) was purchased in January 1937 for 300 pounds. The Hall had been built after World War 1 on the corner of Hudson Street and The Trongate and was used for meetings and social gatherings throughout the 1920’s and the 1930’s. Several unsuccessful attempts were made during this time to set the Hall up for use as a local cinema. Because the GEPA Board struggled to meet the financial obligations associated with both renovations on the Hall as well as related interest payments to the local Commonwealth Bank, a final decision was then taken by the Association to sell the Hall and all of its fixtures. After all of the financial liabilities had been taken care of, the balance was distributed to the GEPA shareholders

On Tuesday 7 February 1938, the Sisters of Saint Joseph arrived at The Trongate Hall in Granville to begin the work of Catholic education for the young children of the area. This is the same order to which Australia's first saint belonged — Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop. At the time the sisters, including Sister Bonaventure Darling, travelled daily from Holy Trinity in Granville to provide lessons. They often travelled by Todd’s Taxi at a cost of six pence (five cents) or else the Parish priest or one of his parishioners drove them in his car. The parishioners of the day collected money for their taxi fare. Starting with only 40 students, the school was embraced quickly by the local Trongate community and within a few weeks numbers had grown to 75.

The intersection of The Trongate and Hudson St in 1943 with the former GEPA Hall clearly visible. The markings on the ground in the area now occupied by the Holy Family school are World War II air-raid trenches.

In the "Catholic Press" of 25 November 1937, there is a short paragraph which gives a clue to the work which went into the purchasing of the GEPA Hall and its subsequent renovation. “A most successful euchre party and dance was held recently in the Trongate Hall to assist the East Granville Church Building Fund”. Fr Halpin, the Parish Priest of the time, referred to “the excellent work done by the guests of the evening in raising funds for the purchasing of the Hall for Church purposes” as well as of the “voluntary labour for fencing and renovating the property”. Particular reference was made to “the gentleman of 84 years who built the brick and iron fence in front of the Hall” and also to “the other men of 70 years and older who spent their spare time working on the building”.

The Holy Family Parish was founded and by 1952 the old hall in which both Mass and classes for the school were held had become rather overcrowded. A new building was then erected across the street. By that time the school catered for children from Kindergarten to Year 5. Soon after, in 1954, a convent was established nearby.

The ‘old church’ moves from the site of what was to become the newest church. This building was to become part of an expanding parish school.

The Holy Family Parish was officially established in November 1946 with Rev John Kerrigan as first Parish Priest and Les Campion, later to be Parish Priest of Holy Trinity Parish at Granville, as an altar boy. "The Cumberland Argus" carried a story on 14 May 1947 about a juvenile fancy-dress ball whose purpose was to raise funds to “purchase more desks, seats and other facilities for the pupils of Holy Family school”. The Holy Family Church, Trongate St, “a branch of the Holy Trinity Church Granville, is the first Catholic Church to be established in the new parish of East Granville”. The hall “is used for social functions at night and during the day the Sisters of St Joseph conduct a school”. After the ball, “supper was served to the children in the basement”.

"The Catholic Weekly" from May 8th of the same year had a letter from a student who lived in the new East Granville Parish. In the letter the young girl wrote that she was proud to say that “we have made a parish, under the title of the Holy Family, East Granville and have for our parish priest Rev. Father Kerrigan”. She continued that “we have a lot of hard work ahead of us, as a primary school must be built, and we would ask you to join us in our prayers for our success”.

During these years land was bought in The Trongate known as Hayes Marshalling Paddock which was to become the site for the second church-school that was built in the early 1950’s. On Sunday, 27 January, 1952 Cardinal Gilroy blessed and laid the foundation stone of the new Church/School and a year later, he repeated the ceremony for the foundation of the Holy Family Church.

Cardinal Gilroy blesses the foundation stone for the new church.

The new church - as it appears in 2015.

After Fr Kerrigan was transferred to Rockdale he was succeeded by Fr Frank Martin as Parish Priest in October 1961. It would be his posting to East Granville that would give Fr Martin his greatest challenge. In an article in ‘The Catholic Weekly’ of July 31st 2014 he remembers his time in that parish.

“I used to lie awake the first week I was in East Granville wondering where the heck I should start. “There was no church, no convent, one totally inadequate school building, and no money.” Fr Frank began by asking what the people needed most of all, and the answer came: a kindergarten. “They had a kindergarten in an old wooden building which used to flood every time it rained. Fancy bringing the little ones to school in that!” The kindergarten was built, and Fr Frank “landed on his feet”.

Prior to his arrival in the area, the parish leased a block of land to Hoyts on which ‘The Crest’ cinema had been constructed. But “TV had killed them, they were down to one night a week”, and Hoyts was eager to get out of the arrangement. “They approached me and said it would be in the interest of the church to take over the building, because they were losing money,” he said. Fr Frank agreed to assume responsibility for the building, on the condition that the sloping cinema floor was flattened for a ballroom.

“I started getting bookings for the ballroom, then someone put housie into my head. “They said it was a natural working class area and we couldn’t lose, and they were right. “In the end we were making $1500 a week from housie alone, and we built the church and the convent and the parish centre.” After 15 years at East Granville, he grew unwell and an administrator Fr Michael O’Byrne was brought in to oversee the parish while Fr Frank recovered.

In a Parish Bulletin of June 1973 Fr Martin summed up his time as a builder in the parish. “I was sent here in October 1961. We didn’t have much. Now thanks to generous people and willing workers, we have a fully equipped parish. We have a complete plant. We have spent a lot of money. The Kindergarten cost $33,000.00 fully furnished; the Church $140,000.00 fully furnished – both are paid for. Land and a cottage were purchased for a presbytery $7,000.00 (paid for); a third school block with a tuckshop and shelter were added for $33,000.00 (65% paid for; the Crest Theatre was taken over and alterations made for a ballroom; land purchased for a convent and a convent built for over $100.000.00, and an assembly hall including a meeting room and youth headquarters erected for $150,000.00. In addition to this, school desks and electronic equipment and improvements to the school yard all addup to many more thousands of dollars”.

In a Parish Bulletin on his leaving the parish, Fr Martin is described in the following words:” It is not for the fine buildings that we will remember him. It is for the Spirit of Christ that he kindled in the hearts and lives of all those who came to know him as a priest of Jesus Christ. From the youngest to the oldest, all in Holy Family have experienced the graciousness of his concern bringing them closer to Christ”. Additionally “Holy Family Parish will miss Fr Martin, that is something that need not be said, but the spirit that he nourished must be made to continue and strengthen in the years that lie ahead. That Family spirit kept strong in this Parish will be the greatest tribute that we can pay to our pastor”.

On 14 April, Fr James Stack succeeded Fr Martin as Parish Priest.

Fr James served as Parish Priest from 1976 until his death in 2014. Prior to this, he served at a wide number of different parishes including those of Neutral Bay, Windsor, Concord, Gosford, Berala, Kingsgrove, Ashbury, Lakemba, Westmead, Mascot, Enfield and Blakehurst.


In the celebration of Mass the faithful form a holy people, a people whom God has made his own, a royal priesthood, so that they may give thanks to God and offer the spotless Victim not only through the hands of the priest but also together with him, and so that they may learn to offer themselves. They should, moreover, endeavour to make this clear by their deep religious sense and their charity toward brothers and sisters who participate with them in the same celebration. Indeed, they form one body, whether by hearing the word of God, or by joining in the prayers and the singing or above all by the common offering of Sacrifice and by a common partaking at the Lord’s table. This unity is beautifully apparent from the gestures and postures observed in common by the faithful. The faithful, moreover, should not refuse to serve the People of God gladly whenever they are asked to perform some particular ministry or role in the celebration.


The reader, traditionally referred to as a lector is instituted to proclaim the readings from Sacred Scripture, with the exception of the Gospel. They may also announce the intentions for the Prayer of the Faithful and, in the absence of a psalmist, proclaim the Psalm between the readings.


The choir and musicians play a key role in the enhancement of the liturgy and other services. Members of the choir and musicians volunteer their time and talents to preparing suitable hymns for weekend Masses and solemnities and  data projection. We always welcome new members to come forward and volunteer to sing in the choir and welcome new musicians to offer their talents to praise and worship of God.


The acolyte is instituted to serve at the altar and to assist the priest and deacon. In particular, it is his responsibility to prepare the altar and the sacred vessels and, if it is necessary, as an extraordinary minister, to distribute the Eucharist to the faithful. In the ministry of the altar, the acolyte has his own functions which he must perform himself.


The role of the altar server is to assist at the Altar during the offering of the Holy Mass and other liturgical services. This ministry is open to anyone who has made their first communion and we welcome new members, both young and old, to become Altar Servers. 


The Altar society assist in the cleaning and tidy of the sanctuary area. This also includes the arranging of flowers for the weekend Masses. Altar society members are split into groups meaning just a couple of hours per month is required.


Children’s Liturgy is held during the 8:30am Mass on the third Sunday of each month in the Parish office. Children join our team of volunteers to read and learn about the weekend Gospel reading, with prayer and fun and creative activities.


Counters assist with the counting of weekly collections after the Sunday morning Mass. Counters are usually required for 2 hours per month.


Catechesis is that particular form of ministry of the word which matures initial conversion to make it into a living, explicit and fruitful confession of faith. Catechists are a team of parishioners who have completed Diocesan training. The program is age appropriate, creative and contemporary in order that the young person be motivated to grow in knowledge, understanding, appreciation, acceptance and love of the Gospel. As Catechists we are committed to giving a strong witness of our own faith.


Members of our parish assist with the Hospitality and social aspect of parish life. This includes set up and pack up of food area, preparing tea and coffee after Sunday morning Mass and serving of finger foods.


The Trinitarians Youth Ministry (TYM) welcomes our young parishioners (Year 6 and above) and their friends for monthly meetings to socialise, pray and discuss their Catholic faith. The Trinitarians are always looking for new members so check out our Parish Social Media or Bulletin and come along to their next event.




Holy Family Parish Hall is available for bookings for various functions and events.
For further information, contact the parish office on 0497 190 444.