"One Heart One Soul"

Copyright Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Bray Park


The parish had its beginning as a worshipping community with the inaugural Mass being celebrated on the Feast of the Epiphany, 6 January 1974. This Eucharist was celebrated in the Lions Halls at the Pine Rivers Showgrounds with the first Parish Priest, Father Tom Crean C.S.Sp.

Prior to this time, the area was administered from the Parish of Petrie. The new parish site, situated in Sparkes Road, covered an area of 4.4 hectares (10 acres) with beautiful views out to Mount Samson in the D'Aguilar Range. The parish takes in Lawnton, Strathpine, Bray Park, Brendale, Warner, Cashmere and Joyner with its boundaries extending along the North and South Pine Rivers. Father Crean resided in a rented house at 11 Shelly Street Strathpine where weekday Masses (6.30 am) were celebrated. Sunday Masses were held in the Lions Hall (6.30 am and 6.30 pm )as well as in the home of Mr and Mrs R Versace at Baker Street (8.30 am).

Funds were in great need so many activities began in 1974 - Bingo in February, the Planned Giving Program in July, as well as the annual St Patrick's Dance, the 100 Club and the Paper and Bottle Drive. Soon a house was purchased at 205 Samsonvale Road for Father Crean to live in and to celebrate Masses. In May 1975 the parish hall/church was completed and now community activities could be held on the parish site. In that same year the Presbytery (now the Parish Centre) was constructed and Father Crean was able to continue with his vision. Community building was most evident during these formative years - there was a common resolve and goal to build a church and a parish school for the community.

The Holy Spirit School was established and the first classes of Grade 1 and 2 began in January 1977. The school roll doubled in the first year (142) and plans were laid for the construction of a second block for opening in 1978.

1977 marked the arrival of more Spiritan priests. Father George Lahiffe was welcomed to the parish during 1977, followed by Father Tom Cunningham who headed off to work in the Kerema Missions in New Guinea in 1978.

Despite some minor setbacks, the Building and Finance Committee made possible the commencement of the much awaited church. It was officially opened and blessed by Archbishop Rush on 13 April 1980 with a concelebrated Mass. There was a week of celebrations, recognizing and affirming the work and dedication of many groups within the community. The dynamic and vibrant parish finally had its own church for worship.

Father Des Reid joined the Holy Spirit community in October 1980 and he was often seen on the rider mower helping out to maintain the new oval facilities.

During this same year a sub committee of the School P&F was formed to raise money to build a tuckshop and an oval for the students. Once again the generosity and commitment of the parishioners and school community were evident. This oval served as the initial home ground for the Brothers Holy Spirit Junior Football Club (now located in Francis Road) which was formed on completion of the oval. Many children of the Holy Spirit School were the first members of this club. Within a short time this sub committee raised further money to fund the provision of a cricket pitch, practice nets, netball courts and tennis courts.

During the following years other buildings have been added to the parish complex. The school has continued to expand and the original presbytery is now the Parish Centre, with three separate units behind this building.

The Parish has always supported the missions in New Guinea. In 1983 a major project was undertaken to provide a barge to transport goods and timber at Terapo. Kev Conway, Ron Versace, Father Tom or Father Des on occasions could be seen flying off from the Versace air strip in Baker Street to continue with the building projects in New Guinea.

History Continued