St Mary Help of Christians

St Mary Help of Christians Church was established, by a number of pioneer families of Altona, in early 1921 with the first mass being celebrated on 14 August of that year in the old Progress Hall. The original services were temporarily housed in several halls in various locations. By March 1927, Archbishop Mannix blessed and opened the first St Mary’s Church Hall and at the start of the following year the St Mary’s Primary School opened in the church hall.

The church obtained independent status as a parish in September 1942 and by 1956 a new presbytery had been built in Railway Street North. A year later the first community of Sisters of St Joseph was formed in Sargood Street.

By 1960 St Paul’s College, in Altona North, was established and was opened in 1965. In 1964 Mount St Joseph Girls’ College was established.

A permanent church building was completed on the present site in Railway Street North in 1965 and was blessed and opened by Bishop Arthur Fox.

Attached is a copy of the history of St Mary’s which was written in 1991 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the day when St. Mary Help of Christians, Altona, became a parish.


The History of St Mary's Church and Parish published 1991.


  1. Archives – Altona Laverton Historical Society Inc.
  2. Publication – A History of the Parish of St Mary, 1991