Mary, Help of Christians Parish was founded in 1994 after the amalgamation of Sacred Heart Parish, Pearce (founded 1968) and St Augustine’s Parish, Farrer (founded 1971). The two foundation parishes were formed at a time of rapid expansion of Canberra. Young families worked hard to build their churches, presbytery and school that stand as a testimony to their faith and pioneering spirit.Former Parish Priests were: Father Ailbe Conway, Father Tom Thornton and Father Joe Rheinberger (Pearce); and Father Parker Moloney and Father Tom Wright (Farrer) and Father Laurie Blake (01 July 2003 – 31 Dec 2013). Fr Richard Thompson began his appointment as our current Parish Priest 1 January 2014.
Sacred Heart Church was consecrated on 12 December 1976. It is a simple rectangle-shaped building, with a magnificent Irish stained glass feature behind the altar. The stained glass incorporates:
- a Cross,
- a chalice (The Chalice of Salvation),
- the Crown of Thorns,
- two candles,
- two chains (representing our sins, misfortunes and battles),the hands of Christ, with the marks of the nails, coming from the Cross (embracing the world); and
- two outstretched hands at the bottom of the feature, symbolising our hands reaching up to the Lord with our petitions and prayers.
In October 1998 the administration of St Augustine’s Church in Beasley St Farrer was handed over to the Canberra Croatian community, although the church continued to be a Mass centre for the 8.30 am Sunday mass for Mary Help of Christians Parish.
The church has been progressively decorated to reflect the Croatian influence.Also included in the church are statues and ornaments by renowned Australian sculptor Tom Bass.