St Andrew’s Catholic parish was established in 1994 with Patrick Lim as its founder priest. For a long time, the parishioners did not have a place that they might call home – and our Parish House was used for weekday mass and for frequent committee meetings – sometimes with several in session at the same time.
Our next Parish Priest was Fr Philip Perreau who built our current church. He stayed with us until Christmas 2009 and from then we welcomed our new pastor, Fr Andrew Albis.
During the past 15 years Sunday masses have been conducted in various locations – a small hall on the Quinns beachfront; Gunblossom Community Hall (Quinns); Jenolan Way Community Hall (Merriwa); then in a series of classrooms as they became available during construction stages of St. Andrew’s School.
(In the earlier years 1950’s/60’s Catholics living in the area attended mass, sometimes in family homes and later when Mr. Angelo Menchetti opened his market garden family home off Wanneroo Road for Sunday evening mass. When attendance increased he converted a building at the rear of his property to a chapel which accommodated the needs of a growing Catholic population . At that time the area was serviced by Servite Priests – Fathers Paddy Boyle and Carlo Machetti – from the Wanneroo Parish.
In more recent times, the undercover area of St. Andrew’s Catholic Primary School was used as a weekend “mass centre.” But in August 2006 our new church was completed and located adjacent to the school. Our next project is to build a presbytery on the western end of our land and later to build a parish centre.
Within the parish boundaries are four retirement villages, two Catholic primary schools (Clarkson and Butler), and Irene McCormack College. The area is also serviced by eight government primary and three high schools, as well as primary and secondary high schools of other religious denominations. (Other government schools are planned to cope with the population explosion in the area which is showing no sign of slowing down as new housing developments and expansion of service and supply industries continues unabated.)
Representatives of 48 different nationalities attend mass at St. Andrew’s. The current Catholic population is around 6,000 within the boundaries of the parish. About 600 of these are regular mass-goers, while others attend other Catholic churches in the region.
Despite current financial pressures, Clarkson parishioners confidently look to a future when non-practicing Catholics will return, and new residents to the area will participate in the Christian life and activities of a church in which they will be warmly welcomed. The Parish is in the mean time working with renewed energy and enthusiasm on a program to help achieve our financial objectives. We have been blessed with many friends who have already helped us and welcome any assistance offered.