St Francis' Church is the oldest Catholic church in Victoria, Australia. Located on the corner of Lonsdale Street and Elizabeth Street, the main body of the church (with various later additions) is one of a very few buildings in central Melbourne which predates the Gold Rush of 1851.Make St. Francis Church part of your personalized Melbourne itinerary using our Melbourne trip planner .
The church's foundation stone was laid on 4 October 1841, the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, to whom the church is dedicated. It was commissioned by Fr Patrick Geoghegan, the first Catholic priest in the Port Phillip District of New South Wales, which became the separate state of Victoria in 1851. The first mass was held in the completed nave on 22 May 1842 and the completed church blessed on 23 October 1845, though the elegant cedar ceiling was not installed until 1850. In 1848, St Francis' became the cathedral church of the first Catholic Bishop of Melbourne, James Goold, and continued as a cathedral until 1868, when the diocesan seat was moved to the still unfinished St Patrick's Cathedral (which was not formally consecrated until 1897). The ornate Ladye Chapel on the west side was designed by George and Schneider and constructed in 1856-58, with decoration by Le Gould and Souter. A new sanctuary designed by Reed and Barnes was added in 1878-9 in the Renaissance style. The front porch was added in 1956, incorporating the roof of a smaller porch added in the 1850s.
St. Francis Church Reviews
St Francis is one of the oldest structures in Melbounre. It is very popular with city workers. It is full of life, Mass is said virtually around rhe clock. This Catholic church has been upgraded recen... more »
La iglesia es muy bonita e interesante por la edad. El interior cuenta con buenos vitrales. La capilla lateral es muy bonita. more »The church is very nice and interesting because of the age. The interior has good stained-out windows. The side chapel is very nice.
Beautiful place just get away for a couple of minutes to reflect. Lovely place. Evening mass on Sundays is always full so best to get in early to grab a seat otherwise you'll be left standing.
St. Francis Church. The best place for beholding the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Blessed Sacrament Exposed from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm from Monday to Friday. From 8:00 am to 11 am on Saturdays and from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm on Sundays.
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