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Map showing Star of the Sea Catholic Parish

Phone: +61 7 3821 4902


​In 1844, the Catholic Church was established on Stradbroke Island by priests, who were religious members of the Passionist Order. Due to unexpected difficulties the four priests remained at Stradbroke only for a few years and then moved on. From 1848 to 1874 there is no record of priests visiting the Redlands though immigrant Catholics lived here. In 1874 Cleveland became a part of a vast parish that was centred at Logan Village and extended to Cleveland/Redlands, Dunwich, Southport, Tweed Heads, Coochin and Boonah. The Italian priest, who served this area, was Father Scortechini. During these early days, when Fr Scortechini visited Cleveland he would celebrate Mass at Cassim’s Hotel near the Grandview Hotel.

THE FIRST CHURCH: The first Catholic Church in Cleveland was built on North Street around 1877. The earliest baptismal records of Cleveland parish can be found in St Mary’s Church, Beaudesert. In 1875, a series of baptisms were performed in Cleveland by Fr Scortechini.

In 1892, the Logan parish was subdivided and Cleveland/Redlands and Stradbroke Island became part of the Greater Brisbane parish. In 1892, the Cleveland church was named St Mary’s Star of the Sea. It was at this time the small church building needed extensive renovations. The priest who visited Cleveland would come from Brisbane on a sulky to celebrate Mass.

In early 1890’s Cleveland and Stradbroke Island was moved from the Greater Brisbane parish to Wynnum parish. In 1912, Fr Enright would come from Wynnum to Cleveland by train to celebrate Mass. Our records show that approximately 30 parishioners would attend these Masses.

​CLEVELAND BECAME A PARISH: In September 1925 Fr Joseph Butler was appointed the first resident parish priest of Cleveland and served Cleveland for three years. His parish included Stradbroke Island and Peel Island. Fr Butler stayed at Kelmm’s Cleveland Point and later on built a house for himself at Oyster Point called “San Antonio”.
In 1929, Bishop Duhig purchased the present church site on Passage Street from the Singh family. Although Bishop Duhig purchased the property the Cleveland/Redlands parishioners paid a tax/levy to pay for the property. In June 1929, to old church was relocated from North Street to Passage Street.

REV DR LYNCH: From 1928 to 1936 Rev Dr Lynch who was a member of the Sacred Heart Order served the Cleveland community. He was born in Ireland, educated in France and ordained in Rome. He lived in a small house at the back of the Grandview called “The Haven”. The first entry in the parish baptism and marriage registries date to 1928. Due to health reasons he left Australia in 1936.

FATHER GABRIEL NOLAN: In 1936, Fr Gabriel Nolan was appointed Parish Priest Manly. Hence for the next 28 years Cleveland was administered from Manly. Father Nolan was the first Australian priest to work in Cleveland. He was born in Fernvale and ordained in Rockhampton. It was during this time that the name of the church changed to Our Lady Star of the Sea.

In 1964, Fr James Brosnan was appointed administrator of Cleveland but he died in 1965.
FATHER FRANCIS MCKINLAY: In 1966, Fr Francis McKinlay was appointed parish priest of Cleveland and served here for 28 years. He was born at Warwick and ordained at Banyo. He lectured in English and History for over 15 years.

BUILDING OF NEW CHURCH: In 1974, a new church was built on the site. Many men of the parish volunteered their skills to do bricklaying, concreting, painting, carpentry and electrical. These men also built all the church pews.

​FATHER JIM BROWNE: In 1994, Father McKinlay died and Father Jim Browne was appointed administrator for 6 years. Fr Jim was a great pastoral man and had a great love for the Bay islands

FATHER FRANK O’DEA: In 2001, Fr Frank O’Dea was appointed parish priest. Fr Frank had served many years working in various parishes of the Brisbane diocese. One of his first initiatives was to progress work for the establishment of a parish school. This was achieved in 2006 when stage 1 of the school was blessed and opened. Father Frank O’Dea through his contacts with Centrecare initiated the establishment of a Day Care for children from 6weeks to 5 years. The Day Care and the parish school has been an extraordinary success. Our future planning is for the establishment of affordable housing on the presbytery site. Father Frank O’Dea changed the parish name to Star of the Sea.

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