Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life."
THE NEW CHURCH
Following the death of Monsignor Breen, Fr John O'Connor, Parish Priest of Redfern, was appointed to Penshurst in 1966.
Population in the area continued to climb, necessitating the separation of Peakhurst-Lugarno from the Penshurst parish. The first mass was celebrated in October 1968.
Around this time, the "Fernland" presbytery, constructed in 1885, became structurally unsafe. A small house near the church was purchased and renovated to suit the needs of the priests. Fernland was then demolished.
Fr Maurice Phipps arrived at St Declan's parish in 1970 and to date has been the longest serving assistant priest at St Declan's. He was well known and loved by the parishioners and by patients in many of the hospitals around the district which he would visit daily. Fr Maurice died on 23 October 2002.
In 1972, Fr O'Connor organised an extension to the Convent school, which became known as the St Declan's Primary School.
Originally, St Declan's was built with a temporary altar, which was still in use in the 1980s. Inadequate repair and maintenance saw the development of plans to rebuild the church so that it complied with Vatican II requirements.
In 1979, Fr O'Connor's health was failing, resulting in the appointment of Fr Paul Jacobs as administrator. After a committee was formed to examine the possible solutions and meetings held, it was decided in 1982 that a new church be constructed.
The new church was completed in October 1983 and the old demolished to create a car park and school playground.
Fr O'Connor retired in 1984, after being Parish Priest at Penshurst for 18 years and seeing the development and extension of the parish and surrounds.
Fr Paul Jacobs was appointed Parish Priest in August 1984, following the retirement of Fr O'Connor.
92 Penshurst St PENSHURST NSW 2222 | Phone: 9580 1310 | Fax: 9580 7170 | Email:email@example.com