Fr. Timothy McCarthy was the first priest in New England and the North Coast from 1853 and so was in effect the first pastor of Tamworth. In 1859 the first St Nicholas Church was blessed and opened.
Fr Tim McCarthy was at the time ably assisted by Mr PJ Coghlan and Mr Daniel Regan. In 1864 the parish of St Nicholas was established. (Fr B.H. Power OP, a Dominican was the first parish priest some say, but there is some doubt too as to whether he actually took up his appointment).Fr James Garvey was the first parish priest and he left the parish in 1870.
The foundation stone at St Nicholas carries the year 1877, however the Church has had three major renovations since then. Our Church is built in the Gothic Revival style and has a symbolic emphasis on the "praying hands" of the arches, the warm, friendly, prayerful interior.
St Mary's Church and School were opened in 1939. And continues today to gather a strong community of faith.We have taken for our parish vision the description of the lifestyle of the first community of the baptised on Pentecost day in the Acts of the Apostles.
Accordingly, we strive to be: a Catholic Church Community - Faithful to the teaching of the Church - Faithful to the Eucharist and to Prayer - Faithful to the Catholic way of life-sharing what we have with those who are in need!
Glancing through our Parish Directory we discover a hard working and committed community of the Catholic faithful. Truly a Community of Faith, Hope, and Love. The Commonwealth Census provides statistics for our parish of Tamworth and shows a Catholic population of some 3,651 persons. 25% are aged 0-14 years, with 87 males for every 100 females. The census has a figure of 1,175 families registered with some 3,136 individual members.
Our parish population is not old! And this alone indicates that the ongoing provision of quality Catholic education at infants and primary level must continue to be a priority.Each year at St Nicholas there are on average some 69 baptisms; 64 first communions; 66 confirmations; and towards 30 - 40 marriages.
As well the parish looks after the hospitals, the nursing homes. We also pastorally care for some 40 people in their homes with regular communion and monthly sacrament of the sick. Some 59 Liturgies of Christian Burial are celebrated each year. And we care for over 375 children in our Catholic primary school, we help with the pastoral and spiritual care of McCarthy Catholic College, and we have over 530 Catholic children in other than Catholic schools in our parish geographical area. This all adds up to a busy parish community.
Our Parish Vision
A Catholic Church community
Faithful to the teaching of the Church
Faithful to the Eucharist & to prayer
Faithful to the Catholic way of life
Sharing what we have with those in need!
Acts 2:42; 44-45