Thanksgiving for the 100 years of the Maleny Catholic community
*Story & Photos courtesy of the Sunshine Valley Gazette.
More photos and as originally published in the https://www.sunshinevalleygazette.com.au/blog/maleny-catholic-church-centenary-2024
Maleny celebrated a remarkable milestone on Sunday 4 February as the Sacred Heart Catholic Church commemorated its centenary.
The day was a celebration of the faith, community life and resilience of its people over that time. Parishioners both past and present and members of the wider Maleny community gathered in an overflowing church to mark this occasion in a memorable morning of thanksgiving and celebration.
Maleny’s pioneering Catholics like the McCarthys and the Daleys were mostly Irish pastoralists who settled on the Range in the late 1800s. They built their church in 1924 high on a hill in Cedar Street overlooking the then sparce town centre. The acre of land, his ‘dry paddock’, was gifted by Patrick Daley to the Church. When built it was described as ‘a very handsome and pleasing addition to the many fine buildings of this fast-developing centre’. The present more modern church building replaced it in 1975.
On Sunday the Mass to commemorate these past 100 years was celebrated by Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane. State and local members of government, people of other faiths and of the Maleny community were all welcomed by Vince Carbery who with his family became parishioners in 1940. Vince also had the honour of performing this same welcome nearly 50 years ago when he welcomed visitors to the opening of that second church! The Archbishop spoke with great feeling, yet realism, about his hope for the life of the church of the future because of small rural communities like Maleny with its self-reliance and generosity of spirit. The music was played and sung with great joy. The Communion hymn was a very beautiful echo from the past evoking much nostalgia. In 1924 the Ave Maria, a traditional Latin hymn to Mary, was sung at the opening. On Sunday it was once again sung with great feeling by Margaret Taylor, Maleny’s well-known operatic singer.
All moved to the Pat Daley Centre for refreshments which were a donation from Holy Cross Funerals and were generously served during the morning by Maleny CWA and Maleny Rotary. They admired the richly decorated Centenary cake and said goodbye to the 2024 ‘memorabilia’ which were later sealed in the time capsule for opening in 25 years. More than twenty people worked on the centenary committee and many more assisted generously over the four months of preparation. Gratefully refreshed, on a rather warm day, visitors were then treated to a presentation of the History of Maleny Catholic Church, but not your ordinary history lesson! Liz Caffery held her large audience spellbound with a history of Maleny as we had never seen it before. Beginning with her acknowledgement of the Jinibara people of the Range here long before us, her absorbing narration led us on a black and white slide journey from the 1870s to the opening of the first Maleny church in 1924. There were then some short talks on memorabilia.
The morning ended with the launch of the book by Jack Wilcox AM – The Heart on the Hill on which four members of the History Group had been working for many months (Liz Caffery, Anne Minter, Vince Carbery and Judy Berlak). Liz Caffery, the author of the book, says, ‘As I began to explore their beginnings, I realised that this self-reliant little community, cloistered amongst the green hills, cherished a strong pride in its identity… the people were committed, communal and caring. In the book, I wanted to know not only how that spirit evolved but why it has endured for more than 100 years. This became the narrative of ‘The Heart on the Hill…’
This fascinating book makes fascinating reading of the 100 years of Maleny and the Maleny Catholic Church and will be available by contacting Anne Minter: [email protected] until the end of February and later at the Caloundra Catholic Parish Office (0754309390) Cost: $25