Our motto - “Though many we are one.”

Our vision - One in faith and one in the Gospel values of hospitality and welcome, compassion and justice.



St. Mary’s Parish – part of the Brighton Mission – was erected on 18th April, 1883 by Archbishop Goold. However the present site was obtained in 1855 and the First Mass was said there in December 1864 by the same Archbishop in a tent. The next day, he laid the first stone for the first St. Mary’s Church, which was completed in 1866.

Initially our Parish encompassed from the mountains to the sea, from as far as Emerald in the Dandenongs to the Mornington Peninsula, Philip Island and Western Port Bay and into South West Gippsland.

Our Parish has seen an amazing population growth, which is now compressed into a comparatively small, but vital area.

Over the years these Parish boundaries have been whittled away with the emergence of new parishes – a healthy sign of a living Church. There are now 40 Catholic Parishes within the original St. Mary’s Parish Boundaries of 1883.

St. Mary’s Parish Dandenong, a parish rich in multi-culturalism having more than 50 nationalities which has been growing during the years and has still a total of nearly 1500 families.

St. Mary’s is continuing to be built upon the faith, commitment and generosity of its parishioners and many people help in small ways to contribute to the everyday and major events of the Parish.

The future of our Parish holds many challenges for us all.



1855 Parish Site donated as Crown Land
1866 First St. Mary’s Church (Cost £ 1159)
1866 Eumemmerring Catholic School started
1883 St. Mary’s Parish erected
1886 Presbytery built – (Cost £ 1140)
1892 Second St Mary’s Church (Cost £ 2200)
1912 Presentation Sisters arrived
1912 St Mary’s Catholic School opened
1924 New Convent built in Langhorne Street
1958 St John’s Boys School opened under direction of the La Salle Brothers
1959 Third St Mary’s Church opened
1968 St Angela’s Girls School opened
1969 St John’s Boy’s School became St John’s Regional College
1977 St John’s and St Angela’s became fully Co-educational
1977 St Mary’s Parish Centre including the Presbytery was built
1977 St Mary’s Community Centre was built
1993 Total refurbishment and Solemn Dedication of St. Mary’s Church
2003–7 Refurbishment of St Mary’s School
2007 Opening and Blessing of McQuade Court.


  Designed and built by Mary Ferlin and Matthew Price.
Produced by Catholic Communications Melbourne