Mendooran Church Centenary

The centenary of laying the foundation stone of Mendooran, formerly known as Mundooran, Catholic Church of St Mary will be celebrated on Sunday 13th July 2014 at 11.00am. The Mass will be celebrated by Bishop McKenna and will be followed by luncheon in the local hall. The oldest parishioner, Lottie Dinsdale nee Montgomery, was at the laying of the foundation stone. Lottie received Confirmation during the blessing Mass of the church and was looking forward to these celebrations, however, God called her home last June at the age of 105 years. May she rest in peace.

All former parishioners and residents of the district are especially invited to join in the celebrations on the day.

Mendooran Church Centenary Committee
St Michael's Parish
PO Box 53
Dunedoo NSW 2844

Email (remove XX) parishoffice XX @bigpond XX .com 

Helen Naef (Tel) 6886 1171 or Mary Fleming (Tel) 6886 1774.


The following newspaper accounts give an insight into Catholic fund raising practices of 100 years ago!

The Mudgee Guardian    30th July 1914
The Mundooran
(now Mendooran) R.C. Church

List of Donors

At the recent ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the new R.C. Church at Mundooran by the Right Rev. Dr. Dunne, Bishop of Bathurst, the following amounts were received:-

Right Rev. Dr. Dunne 10 pounds, Messrs. H. & A. Brennan 21 pounds, J.W. Jennings 5/5/-, T.R. Keenan 5 pounds, T. Tracey 5 pounds, John Loneragan 5 pounds, Chas D. Dykes 3/3/-,  D.J. O’Brien  2/2/- Father Parker 2/2/- (the Parish Priest), etc. (There were 97 donors listed from Mundooran, Gilgandra, Coonabarabran, Dunedoo, Gulgong and Mudgee, some giving 10, 5, 2 or 1 shillings).  Proceeds of Social 10/10/- Guessing the weight of the fat sheep proceeds were 3 pounds. Total raised for the construction of the new church 143 pounds, 12 shillings and 6 pence.

The Inscription on the stone:-   

Dedicated to St Mary
by Right Rev. D. Dunne
15th July 1914.

The parishioners are again to be praised for the very successful result of the ceremony. Undoubtedly they must have worked with a zeal characteristic of those who are always bent on attaining success. The parishioners have certainly achieved remarkable success, as the above list proves. Plans are now being prepared for a brick structure. Tenders will be called and the work proceeded with at once.

The guessing competition was won by Rev. Father Parker (then PP of Gilgandra and Mendooran), who guessed the correct weight of the sheep, viz., 60lbs. (pounds).

(Note: The beginning of WW I interrupted the proposed church building programme;  it was completed three years after the laying of the Foundation Stone.)

Gilgandra Weekly    Friday 5th September 1917
The opening function of the new Roman Catholic Church at Mundooran is to take place on Sunday afternoon, 14th instant (i.e. September). After the opening ceremony a banquet will be held in the Town Hall, at which a large gathering is expected. The catering is being done by the Catholic ladies of the district, and will be on a scale equal to the occasion. Visitors from all the surrounding centres are expected. Altogether the function promises to be a red-letter day for the district.

(Note: It is interesting to discover below how few monthly Masses were celebrated in the new church after it was opened!)

Gilgandra Weekly   Friday 9th November 1917

Catholic Church Mass times
Mundooran – Fifth Sunday when occurring and Mass weekday once a month.

Mendooran Priests
The priests of Coonamble Parish celebrated Mass (in the local hall) and exercised pastoral care of Mendooran after 1874, Coonabarabran Parish after 1892 and again after 1916 until 1922 when Dunedoo Parish was established and Gilgandra 1913-16. Dunedoo Parish in 1922 included Mendooran, Cobbora, Elong Elong, Coolah, Leadville, Craboon, Tallawang and five homestead Mass stations.

Fr John Barry PP Coonabarabran 1900 - 1913 ~ died 1913 at Coonabarabran
Fr John Parker PP Gilgandra 1913 - 1916 ~ died 1933 at Orange
Fr Thomas Doran PP Coonabarabran 1916 - 1920 ~ died 1921 at Perthville
Fr Cecil Loneragan PP 1921 - 1922 ~ died 1944 at Canowindra
Fr John Howard - first PP of Dunedoo 1922 - 1923 ~ died 1947 at Bathurst

A total of 33 priests have served the Catholics of the Mendooran district.

Mendooran / Binnaway Priests (became a separate parish from 1964 - 1972)
Fr John Moore PP 1964 - 1969 ~ died 2006 at Milton
Fr James Kane PP 1970 - 1971 ~ retired at Orange
Fr Kevin Manning PP 1972  -  later bishop of Armidale and Parramatta, now retired and living in the Blue Mountains.
In 1973 Fr Moore became PP of Dunedoo and Mendooran came under the pastoral care of the Dunedoo priest once again.

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