Fr Chris Toms
People will ask me “What parish to do you have?” and I reply, “I don’t have a parish but the parishioners of St Mary Magdalen’s Jordanville do!” They are the people who have built and personally contributed to its past and present.
Our parishioners are personally very generous. They are the most important resource that the Church has. Within the parish I see myself as sacramental priest whose role is to motivate, and at times facilitate, the parishioners in furthering the community we are developing together. My vision is help parishioners to see that the parish depends upon them.
Our Parish Story
The parish of St Mary Magdalen’s was established by Dr Daniel Mannix, Archbishop of Melbourne on 15th January, 1953 appointing Father James Vincent Creed as the inaugural Parish Priest.
At the time the Housing Commission of Victoria was building houses around Ashwood/Jordanville/Chadstone to give those soldiers who were not eligible to receive War Service Housing Loans, affordable but basic homes.
So Father Creed stepped out into four acres of barren land to establish a parish and school in an area with few made roads, footpaths or street lights and no sewage. He had a Catholic community of about 150 families drawn from all over the metropolitan Melbourne and country Victoria.
In March, Father Creed purchased a house in Waverley Road and set up a Chapel for Week-day Masses. Sunday Masses were celebrated in the Community Room at the Migrant Hostel in Holmesglen.
In July of the first year parishioners began work on the construction of a Church on Saturdays and Sundays. The first Christmas Midnight Mass in the Church was in 1953 even though it was not completed.
The school was officially registered on 26 July 1954 and over the years the Presentation Sisters supported the school through the education of the children and their pastoral care outreach.
One of the highpoints of the parish’s life was the construction of the ‘new Church’ which began with Father Michael Kelleher and was completed with Father Michael Quigley. It was opened and consecrated by Archbishop Frank Little on Sunday 22nd July, 1990. The parish of St Mary Magdalen’s has flourished through the spiritual leadership and pastoral encouragement given by successive clergy.