St Thomas Aquinas Springwood Parish

History

Parish History
Fr Daniel Galvin, the first Parish Priest of St Thomas Aquinas Springwood, pictured with Altar Boys in 1946. Photo courtesy of the Hurley Family Collection.

The history of the Church at Springwood dates back to 1839 when it was part of Penrith Parish under Rev Charles Sumner. Mass was celebrated at Thomas Boland's Springwood Inn and later at their home. The Bolands were at one time the only Catholic family in the area.

In 1907, the resident priest in Springwood, Rev James Sheridan, arranged a boarding school under the control of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart. The parish was first entrusted to Rev PC Cregan, who had been sent by Cardinal Moran to build St Columba's Seminary.

In 1920, St Thomas primary school opened in the old church, which had been moved to Hawkesbury Road.

A new era began in 1935 with the arrival of resident parish priests, assisted by seminary staff. Rev Daniel Galvin built a presbytery and new school between 1935 and 1946; Rev Thomas Leen erected a retaining wall and Rev Canavan built another school.

Between 1969 and 1977, Rev Leslie Bagot added a second storey to the original school. Rev James O'Meara saw the old seminary become a co-ed Catholic high school in 1979 and in 1981, 1983, 1985 and 2001, four stages of a new primary school were built on parish property.

In 1986, Rev Michael McGloin moved the old parish to the St Columba's site and a retirement community, Aquinas Court, opened on the old site. It was subsequently transferred to Catholic Healthcare in April 2006.

PARISH PRIESTS & Administrators

Rev Daniel Galvin 1935-1946
Rev Thomas Leen 1946- 1960
Rev Canavan 1960-1969
Rev Leslie Bagot 1969-1977
Rev James O'Meara 1977-1986
Rev Michael McGloin 1986-1996
Rev Renato Paras 1996-1998
Rev Peter Connelly 1999-2011 (Pastor Emeritus 2011-2013)
Rev Paul Slyney 2011-present