There had been a Catholic faith community in this area since the 1860’s. The first church, the old St Patrick’s church, was opened in 1875 when Fr Benedict Scortechini was the Parish Priest to the Mission of the Logan. Beenleigh became a parish in its own right in 1955, with Fr Vincent Kiley its first Parish Priest. The St Joseph Tobruk Memorial School was opened in 1953, on the initiative of Fr Owen Steele and with the involvement of the Sisters of St Joseph. The school was built in memory of the men who served at Tobruk during World War II.
In 1959 Fr Kiley purchased the property at the corner of Lehville and Tobruk streets as a presbytery. Later the Lehville Street house became the convent for the St Joseph sisters and it is now the St Patrick’s Parish office.
In 1963 Fr Kiley had the church moved from Wharf Street to the end of Tobruk Street. It was blessed and officially opened by Archbishop Sir James Duhig.
In 1975 the parish celebrated the 100th anniversary of the opening of the old church. Archbishop Rush concelebrated with a number of priests who had been involved with the Beenleigh church over the years. Fr George Ainsley was the Beenleigh Parish Priest.
Trinity College opened in 1982. It was initially administered by the Marist Brothers and the Sisters of St. Joseph were prominent on the staff for the first three years. St Patrick’s Church has been continually enhanced since it was first opened. The Blessing and Opening of the Columbarium was celebrated with a special mass in 2001 by the Dean and Fr Dan Grundy.
In 2005 the parish celebrated its 50th anniversary. The Bishop of Brisbane, Joseph Oudemann was the principal celebrant with a number of concelebrants, including Fr Bill O’Shea and the then parish priest Fr Dan Grundy. The building of a second primary school, Mother Teresa Catholic Primary School Ormeau, started in 2010, catering for the Catholic children in the rapidly growing Ormeau area. Fr Anthony Girvan blessed the land and “turned the sod” at a ceremony on 19 September.
Eventually the old church became too small for the growing congregation and in 1979 the design for a new church was commissioned. Fr Bill O’Shea was a driving force behind the project, with the church officially opened on the 3rd of August 1980.
St Patrick’s is a multicultural congregation with members originating from over 50 different countries. The Parish has a very strong faith community and at times there have been over 20 parish groups each