HISTORY OF ST MICHAEL’S PARISH MEADOWBANK
Ryde itself is a very old established area. It is built on the amalgamation of two groups of land grants, each of which dates back to 1792.
- One group was established at Kissing Point- from the Parramatta River at Putney and up the hill towards Top Ryde.
- The other straddles the present Wharf Rd and Marsden Rd, so that from the river, the grants ran due north (on the Ryde side of Wharf Rd) right up across the present Victoria Rd and thus through the present Ryde Parramatta Golf Course.
The grantees were marines of the First Fleet and some of them were Catholics. Their holdings were called the Field of Mars.
Parramatta was a strong Catholic centre and its church was built in 1836. Its priests visited Field of Mars and Kissing Point, as Ryde was called, and Mass had been said for years in settler’s homes and barns.
1851 Ryde was constituted a Parish and Fr Michael Brennan, the Parish Priest of Parramatta, was the priest responsible for the area. Divine Service was temporarily held at “Ermington House”, property owned by Mr J.K. Heydon, located behind Ryde-Parramatta Golf Course.
1857 St Charles Borromeo Parish church was built. Marist Fathers cared for the parish. Fr Jean Louis Rocher took over from Fr Michael Brennan.
1890 Ryde was handed over to diocesan priests and was divided over the years to separate parishes of Hunters Hill, Epping, Eastwood, Gladesville, Meadowbank, Rydalmere, Marsfield, Denistone and North Ryde.
1921 Meadowbank was a parochial district of Ryde Parish and was administered by Fr E Gell, parish priest of St Charles Borromeo.
July 1921 St Michael’s Church/School foundation was blessed by Archbishop Michael Kelly – Archbishop of Sydney in the presence of Fr E Gell, Parish Priest of St Charles. The St Michael’s Church/School was situated at Hughes St. West Ryde (now called 47 Gaza Rd.)
December 1921 St Michael’s Meadowbank Church/School was built and blessed by Archbishop Kelly. It became a station church for Ryde Parish with Fr E Gell as the administrator. The church and the school shared the same building until 1942 when a new school building was built.
1922 The parochial school was opened and conducted by the Sisters of Mercy Order from St Brigid’s Orphanage, Ryde.
1928 St Michael’s Meadowbank administration was transferred to the parish of Rydalmere under Fr Dempsey, Parish Priest of Holy Mary Rydalmere per Archbishop Michael Kelly.
September 1948 Meadowbank was designated a parish per Cardinal Gilroy – Archbishop of Sydney; Fr Dempsey PP of Rydalmere was requested to transfer parochial books to Meadowbank.
October 1948 Fr William Keith Bush became the first Parish Priest of St Michael’s Meadowbank Parish.
November 1948 Fr Bush transferred to a new presbytery located at the corner of Maxim and Union Streets, West Ryde (now 54 Maxim St.)
August 1963 St Michael’s Meadowbank new church was built at 47 Maxim St, and was blessed and opened.
1980 St Michael’s Meadowbank new presbytery was built at 45 Maxim St.
St Michael’s Meadowbank Parish Priests
Fr William Keith Bush, PP Oct 1948 –Sept 1988
Fr John Alt, PP Sept 1988 – Oct 2000
Fr John Langtry, PP Nov 2000 – Dec 2010
Fr Penisimani Folaumoetui Adm Jan 2011 – Dec 2012
PP Jan 2013 – Oct 2017
Fr James McArthy, Adm Nov 2017 – June 2019
Fr Emmanuel YJ Seo Adm Jul 2019 – June 2021
PP July 2021 to present