Parish History

St Luke’s church was built in a Spanish Mission / Art Deco style in 1936. It was built on the site of one of the first estate homes built in Buranda, Barcoo Villa, which belonged to the Reis Family.  When the land was acquired by Archbishop Duhig, the home was used for the celebration of Mass while the parishioners awaited the building of the church.

In 1936 K.D. Morris, contractor, began construction of St Luke’s Church and the foundation stone was then laid by Archbishop Duhig on the 20 December 1936.

Foundation Stone photo

Following construction St Luke’s was officially opened and dedicated by the Apostolic Delegate Most Reverend John Panico S.T.D. on the 11 April 1937 in the presence of many thousands of parishioners and visitors who lined Taylor Street to welcome the delegation.

First blessing photo

In the years after construction the original home, Barcoo Villa was converted into a presbytery for the parish priest, Fr Costelloe and his successors namely Fr James Cullen and Fr David Edwards.

In 1948 Archbishop Duhig laid the foundation stone for St Luke’s Primary school on the O’Keefe Street side of St Luke’s Church.  The school was blessed and opened in 1949 by Archbishop Duhig and administered by the Presentation sisters until its closing in 1977.

Foundation students

In the years since, the  old school  building was utilised by the Villanova Players  and then the St Vincent de Paul Society who used it as a food distribution centre for the inner south side of Brisbane.

To make way for the construction of St Luke’s Green the old school building was demolished in 2015 and today Edwards House Aged Care Building, part of St Luke’s Green, stands on this site.

In 2009 Monsignor Peter Meneely as Administrator of the Parish entered into negotiations with the Greengate Group for the development of an aged care facility on the St Luke’s site.  Monsignor Meneely had become aware of the growing need for age care in the broader community and was conscious of finding a way to better utilise the parishes assets for a new mission.  Subsequently, the parish entered into a 99 year ground  lease arrangement with the Greengate Group from which they have developed St Luke’s Green Integrated Care Village, surrounding St Luke’s Church.

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Construction of St Luke’s Green commenced in 2015 along with extensive restoration work on St Luke’s Church.  The church was already in need of work, in order to remain a vibrant centre of worship into the future, and following a severe hail storm in November 2014, which did extensive damage to the church, it was officially closed on the 28 December 2014 and restoration works began.

These restoration works included the installation of the first bell in the bell tower.  The bell tower was part of the original construction in 1936, however a bell was never fitted due to the builders concerns that the bell purchased would threaten the structural integrity of the tower.

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The restoration also featured significant work on the churches stained glass, church iconography, paintwork and the installation of a new altar, ambo and presider’s chair.  The church was retiled and painted, with the Stations of the Cross restored as well as many other statues and religious art works.

Following 30 months closure the parishioners of St Luke’s celebrated their first Mass in the newly restored church on the Feast of Corpus Christi on Sunday 18 June 2017.  On this day long term parishioners were joined by the many new residents of St Luke’s Green who now call the parish home.

Procession front

On Sunday the 10 September 2017 St Luke’s was solemnly dedicated by His Grace, Archbishop Mark Coleridge in the presence of His Excellency, The Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland.  On this day St Luke’s Green was also officially opened and blessed by the Archbishop and His Excellency marking a new chapter in the life of St Luke’s Catholic Parish.

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