Welcome to the Brisbane Catholic Historical Society website

Brisbane Catholic Historical SocietyWelcome to the website of the Brisbane Catholic Historical Society.

The Brisbane Catholic Historical Society (BCHS) exists under the Patronage of the Most Rev. Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane.

We aim to promote interest in, to research, and to record items of interest and significance in the history of the Catholic Church in Queensland. The Archbishop has generously given the Society access to the Hanly Room within the Francis Rush Centre as a venue for our meetings. The Francis Rush Centre is part of the St. Stephen’s Cathedral campus in Brisbane.

Activities of the Society include speakers on a variety of subjects every two months, an annual bus trip to places of historical significance, and an annual memorial Mass for deceased Members.

We encourage you to find out more about us, and choose to join us by becoming a member. You are also welcome to review our news and events, including our journal, Proceedings of the Brisbane Catholic Historical Society along with the Table of Contents of the past volumes, and other articles of interest.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about the Brisbane Catholic Historical Society, please feel free to contact us.

Annual Mass

The annual Mass for deceased members of the Society will be offered in St Stephen’s Chapel at 5.10pm on Tuesday 4 December prior to our December meeting.


St Stephen’s School – A little school in the heart of the city

Speaker: Sr Anne Hetherington

This presentation tells the story of Queensland’s first catholic School which started in 1845, not long after the Moreton Bay area was thrown open to free settlement.  Begun by two lay teachers, Michael and Mary Burke, it was staffed by the Sisters of Mercy from their arrival in Brisbane in 1861 until the school closed in December 1965.    The school was housed in several locations until a permanent building was erected in 1892. At the time of its closure, it was not only Queensland’s oldest Catholic school but the oldest school of any kind in the State.  In 1967, the building was converted to administration offices for the Cathedral.  Today it is known as Mercy House – a tribute to the Sisters of Mercy who worked there for 105 years.

Date: Tuesday 4 December 2018
Time:  5.30pm (following the Mass for deceased members)
Venue: Hanly Room, Francis Rush Centre (next to St Stephen’s Cathedral)

Gold coin entry (Non-members only)

Parking available entry Elizabeth Street in McArthur Central Secure Carpark. (Booking online guarantees discount rates)