St Mary's Coolgardie
A gem of the Goldfields
Coolgardie's story is among the most significant among our proud state's history, and its a story that grew alongside a people of faith and rich culture. Opening for the first time to the public to visit, come discover an inspiring story of heroism and inspiration that continues in a living tradition to this very day in fresh pages of history.
Fr Stephen Gorddard - Goldfields Priest
"This is a rare Church in WA who's very architecture and furnishings reveal the history not only of one of the biggest gold rushes in history but also of a century of change in the Catholic Church itself."
Though the Church was quoted to hold 500 people (without pews), there were many others trying to get in on its grand opening day!
The original Wilcox & White Organ from the 1902 opening. Be transported as you hear a rendition of the same majestic von Weber music and choir fill the Church as it would have that joyful day.
The goldrush brought an influx of people that, with limited water and poor living conditions, quickly became a health disaster. Responding to the crisis, the community invited the Sisters of St John of God to come and build a hospital, the first of their kind in Australia. When fire damaged part of the main government hospital, the sisters welcomed evacuees into their care. As government facilities improved and extended, the sisters eventually moved on to Kalgoorlie.
After somewhat of a miraculous sign from God, the Sisters of Mercy decided to build a long term convent in Coolgardie which served as the only boarding school for girls who wanted to study for high school. The sisters assisted generations of students from many surrounding regions experience 1st class learning, faith and virtue, and a loving home away from home.
Church and Community Life
The winning team of the pastor and bridal skate team give an indication of how connected faith and lively community life were.
There are many stories and historic artefacts to discover, read on below to learn how you can visit and learn more.
Join in the living tradition today...
Weekly 4pm Saturday Evening Mass
Since 1892 when gold was first discovered, in both fortune and trial, the Mass has been celebrated in Coolgardie in an unbroken tradition to today.
With a clear booklet to guide you, why not experience this tradition yourself and encounter the living spiritual mystery that continues to nourish lives through millenia.
Coming soon: Take the free Tour!
Relax and be inspired as the friendly local Catholic priest guides you on a fascinating tour of the building and the remarkable Coolgardie story. Beginning October this tour lasts about 15-20 minutes at 3:30pm every Saturday, and will be a unique experience of any trip to the Goldfields.
Express your interest by getting in touch through the contact us section below.
Meet the locals
A photo is one thing. An encounter, meeting the living stories held in people, is another. Join for the service and stay for a coffee and friendly country hospitality.