St Francis Xavier Catholic Church at Goodna, was opened in May 1881, originally being called St. Patrick’s Church. The building was designed by the well known Italian architect, Andrea Stombuco, built of local stone using local labour which was predominantly voluntary. The stone mason was William Hanley with the carpentry and painting being undertaken by James Madden of Ipswich. Various local timbers were used in the building, including cedar from Doorey’s sawmill at Mt. Mistake.
During the life of the building, there have been two main phases of renovations and extensions. The first of these, in 1915, was undertaken by architects R. Coutts and Sons with the second, supervised by H. van Hoof, taking place in the early 1980s.
St Francis Xavier’s became a separate parish in 1892, under parish priest Father Thomas Hayes. A school was started in 1910. Other buildings in the precinct included a timber presbytery which was eventually demolished. As with other churches, various changes to the building structure and appearance have taken place. For instance, two stained glass memorial windows are now part of the church, one in honour of local school teacher, John Carroll and the other in honour of Mr. Denis Gorman.
The name of the church was changed to St. Francis Xavier during the 1920s, supposedly to avoid confusion with the many other St. Patrick churches. As a means of marking the importance of St Francis Xavier church within the Goodna community, since its construction in 1881, it has been listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.
This image shows the church in 1918, prior to the name change from St. Patrick’s to the present St. Francis Xavier.
Brian Randall – Queensland Places Coordinator, State Library of Queensland.