Mass and Blessing of Memorial Stone at St Patrick’s - Pyramul

On Saturday 23rd April 2016, more than 80 people attended an open air Mass and Blessing of a memorial stone to commemorate St Patrick’s Catholic Church and Convent that once stood on the two acre site at Pyramul. Mrs Betty Croake, a former resident of Pyramul attended and, together with her granddaugther Eva Croake, unveiled the memorial plaque.

Father Tony Hennessy and Father Carl Mackander concelebrated the Mass and it was lovely to have nine Sisters of St Joseph in attendance. Three sisters to join us on the day were locals Sister Ruth Tomlinson, Sister Kathy Jennings and Sister Catherine O’Brien. Father James O’Donnell brought three pioneering Sisters of St Joseph to the Convent at Pyramul in 1883: Sister Mechtilde Doyle, Sister Philomela Chatley and Sister Barbara Kelly. As the gold rush, that brought so many people to the area, waned the Convent was closed in 1892.

Father Nugent obtained the land as a Government grant in 1875 and St Patrick’s Church was almost completed in that year. Since then, regular Mass was held once a month with priests coming from the Parishes of Kandos and then Mudgee. Baptisms, weddings and other sacraments took place there. It was a small but strong community, who were grateful for the past and look forward to the future.

The last Mass held in the Church was 20th March 2005. Sometime after that, the Church collapsed in a windstorm. The Convent had already fallen into disrepair and no longer exists either. A Catholic cemetery also sits on the site, with over 84 pioneers and local people buried there.

After the Mass and unveiling, a well attended afternoon tea was served in the Pyramul Community Hall with photographs on the history of the Church and Convent on display.

Jennifer Maloney

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