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In 1831, the first Parish Priest Rev CV Dowling was appointed and St Matthew's Catholic Parish was established in 1832. Bishop John Bede Polding later described Windsor parish as "70 miles long and very wide". He also said that of the 140-odd communicants, no more than six or eight had been to confession for many years.
Rev JV Corcoran was appointed Parish Priest in 1835, and it was recorded that because the road to Windsor was so bad, coach drivers refused to travel on it. This may have been the cause of the death of Rev Corcoran who in 1837, was killed driving his gig near the tollgate.
James Doyle, a parishioner, died in 1836 leaving 350 pounds ($700) which was used to build the new church. In 1837, deeds were issued for the church and a school on the corner of Tebbutt and Church Streets. The church and school (which is presently the Parish Hall) was built by 1840.
Catholic education began in Windsor in 1834 when James and Esther Cassidy opened the first school. By 1838 there were 104 scholars attending. The Good Samaritan Sisters arrived in 1875 and have continued to be a presence in the life of the parish. Throughout the years, the Catholic community has often been asked to support those adversely affected by natural disasters.
In 1867, the 12 members of the Eather family drowned in floodwaters and were buried from St Matthew's Church. One of the longest serving parish priests, Rev Leo Murphy (1954-1976) has been credited with bringing about a greater understanding and respect between Catholics and other religious denominations in the Windsor area. He was elected president of the Bowling Club, located across the road from the presbytery and was greatly respected by its members.
Rev James Dooley followed him as Parish Priest from 1976-1993. During this time, Bede Polding College was opened at South Windsor. Also planning commenced for a new Catholic primary school at Bligh Park and for the refurbishment/rebuilding of St Matthew's Church.
Rev Maurice McNamara arrived in 1993 and was present for the building of Chisholm Primary School and for the completion of the refurbishment of St Matthew's historic church.
Tel: (02) 4577 3073
or 1300 504 991
Fax: (02) 4577 2124
12 Tebbutt St,
Windsor, NSW, 2756
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm