The first Catholic Church built in the beautiful town of Picton
St Anthony’s Church is significant to the beautiful town of Picton as the first Catholic Church built in the area. Construction was completed by local John Bollard in 1845 and dedicated to Saint Patrick. The church is situated on land donated by Major Anthill that extended from the current Josephite Convent across to the National Bank and bordered by Stonequarry Creek. It served the Catholic community of the town for 100 years. However, by 1947 it was deemed too small and was demolished to make way for a new school.
Although St Patrick’s church remained standing, a decision was made to build a second larger church near the former. This second church was of weatherboard construction and held services up until 1901. It was this second church that Blessed Mother Mary McKillop visited in early 1881. From 1902 it was used as a church hall and school building until its demolition in 2007 to make way for new classrooms.
The third church built on the site still remains today. With a donation of 1500 pounds ($3000), Mrs. Frances Shiel of Maldon initiated the construction of this church in 1900. In addition, a bronze tabernacle, stained glass window and large crucifix were also gifted. It is built in a simple Gothic style of red brick, with Gothic arched windows, and choir loft in the northern end. On September 1st, 1901, the church was officially opened by His Eminence Cardinal Moran and dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua. Mass continues to be held weekly for both the parish and school community.
Please note a number of churches in Wollondilly are only open to the public during specific service hours, to view the interior of the church or for any private services outside these hours please contact the relevant caretaker for more information.