St Brigid’s, Bridgetown
Steere Street, Bridgetown
Phone: 9761 1241
Fax: 9761 2812
Parish Priest: Fr Roshan Fernando
Sunday Liturgy Times:
Mass Times: Weeks 1 & 3 5.00pm; Week 2 & 4: 9.00am
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – 9.00am
The Parish of Bridgetown was declared in 1903 and placed under the protection of St Brigid of Ireland. However, the Parish records show that the church had already begun its work in the town before the turn of the century.
The first Catholic Church/school was built on the corner of Steere and Roe Streets in 1894. This was replaced in 1904 by the present St Brigid’s church building which also served as a school with an opening enrolment of 33 pupils.
A separate weatherboard building (now the Music and Drama Room) was the Infants School. In the same year the ground floor of the Convent was built and occupied by four Sisters of Mercy from Bunbury. Prior to this, two Sisters had lived in a cottage close to where the present presbytery stands.
The second storey was added to the convent in the early 1920’s to admit boarders from outlying districts and, for many years, was used in the school holidays to accommodate children from “Bushie Schools”.
The present Parish Hall was built in 1925 as a school to serve the growing number of students seeking Catholic education. The present school was built in 1956 and has been extended three times. It now has an enrolment of 100 students and a staff of lay teachers.
The first resident priest for Bridgetown, Fr William Tracey (1899-1901) lived in Roe Street. The present Parish House in Steere Street, which is occupied by Fr Wally Kevis, was built as a Presbytery in 1939. From 1897 there have been twenty-three Parish Priests in Bridgetown.
In the beginning the Parish included Manjimup and Donnybrook but, with a growth in population and the availability of more priests, the boundaries were reorganised. Because of thriving mills and settlements at Donnelly River and Yornup, Mass was celebrated in these places for many years as well as at Bridgetown, Greenbushes, Nannup, Boyup Brook and Kulikup. However, since 1986 the Parish of Bridgetown has included Balingup, Greenbushes and Nannup.
The Sisters of Mercy left Bridgetown in 1989 and the Ain Karim Retreat House was established in the convent building in the same year. Throughout the year retreats used to be run on a one, two or three week basis and, from time to time, day retreats were also offered.
Preparation for the sacraments throughout the Parish includes children and parents, and programs are offered in each Mass Centre. Sacraments are then celebrated with the local church community. Programs to enhance the faith development of the parishioners are offered each year.
In order to provide a sense of community and belonging, a variety of social events are organised throughout the year.
One distinctive feature of our church is the Choir which was formed for the annual Gospel Mass and now participates and contributes to many local events.