Revitalised ‘Catholic Quarter’ proposed for North Parramatta
The Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of the Diocese of Parramatta, has announced plans for a major project around the St Patrick’s Cathedral precinct that is expected to revitalise and renew the northern end of the Parramatta CBD.
The project, known as St Patrick’s Quarter, will provide more opportunities for Catholic services including pastoral outreach, education, and community support within the Diocese of Parramatta, which includes Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
With the population of Parramatta projected to grow exponentially over the next 10 years, the Catholic Church is committed to using its presence in the Parramatta CBD to do more and be more for the local community.
St Patrick’s Quarter will include a new CBD school to be known as St Patrick’s Cathedral College. The new school will eventually cater for local primary and secondary students and is scheduled to open in 2020. To meet the needs of local families, the new school will operate from 6.00am to 6.00pm and include a preschool and out-of-school-hours-care facilities.
St Patrick’s Primary school on Villiers Street will be combined with existing Diocesan buildings on Victoria Road and Villiers Street to create the new school.
A new Church administration building, to be located next to St Patrick’s Cathedral on a currently unused section of St Patrick’s Cathedral grounds, will also be a component of the reimagined precinct. The administration building will accommodate staff from the various Catholic agencies and ministries. A modest commercial/residential hub on the corner of O’Connell Street and Victoria Road will also be part of the project.
Bishop Vincent said that St Patrick’s Quarter will energise the area and ensure that the Church in Parramatta will continue to provide services and support to local families and the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in the community.
“The Catholic Church has a proud history of contributing to the Parramatta community going back almost 200 years,” Bishop Vincent said. “Our mission is best served when we have the parishes, churches, schools and other physical infrastructure in place to meet community need, wherever that is.”
“St Patrick’s Quarter will provide an exciting opportunity to bring many of our Catholic entities under the one roof, so that we can do more and be more together. Entities such as CatholicCare, Catholic Youth Parramatta, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta provide wonderful services to the community.”
The planning process will focus on the needs of the community and will reflect the principles of collaboration and sustainability. Priority will also be given to ensuring there is sufficient recreational space for students. The Church is also committed to working constructively with the City of Parramatta Council on a robust and viable traffic management plan.
The idea of a revitalised Cathedral precinct has been under consideration for some time. With today’s announcement by Bishop Vincent, more detailed planning can now commence. Pending regulatory approvals, St Patrick’s Cathedral College is scheduled to open in 2020 with the other components of St Patrick’s Quarter to follow soon after.
For more information:
- Visit the website of St Patrick’s Quarter at: https://stpatricksquarter.org/
- Press quality images of St Patrick’s Quarter available at: https://we.tl/q4A3vb3uov
- Video of St Patrick’s Quarter available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRV0yj1YXgk
Media inquiries – Joseph Younes, Director of Communications, (02) 8838 3435, 0416 619 500, JYounes@parra.catholic.org.au
About the Diocese of Parramatta
The Diocese of Parramatta is the Catholic Church in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
It spans one of the fastest-growing areas of Australia, incorporating the greater Western Sydney area from Parramatta to Blackheath and from Richmond to Warragamba. It is home to 330,000 Catholics in an area of 1,050,000 people.
The Diocese hosts 47 parishes and churches, educates more than 45,000 students across its 83 schools, employs more than 5,000 staff and cares for thousands of people in need through its social services arm, CatholicCare Social Services.
The Diocese of Parramatta is the fifth-largest Catholic Diocese in Australia.