St Anthony’s Parish Marsfield is a vibrant multicultural community, 70 years old in 2012. It is located 16 kms north-west of Sydney city.
Originally part of Ryde Parish, St Anthony’s was declared a Parish in the Archdiocese of Sydney by Archbishop (later Cardinal) Gilroy on 20th June 1942. At the time, Marsfield was one of the important fruit and vegetable production areas in Sydney, and with a large Italian population, it was decided to name the parish after St Anthony of Padua, a popular Italian Saint.
A Vincentian Community
The priest, brothers and seminarians of the Congregation of the Mission have been connected with the Parish since 1923, when Curzon Hall was set up as the seminary for the Vincentians. During this time, many of the Vincentians assisted with Parish Masses before the original Church was built. Up until the early 1980’s, this Parish assisted in the pastoral training of many of the seminarians.
St Anthony’s Primary School
Our Parish School was opened in 1934 by the Sisters of Mercy from their convent in Ryde. With the Vincentian connection, the Daughters of Charity took over this ministry and played a large part in the education of our young people right up until the late 1980’s, when the administration of the school was handed over to the Catholic Education Office. Our Parish School was recently rebuilt and currently has an enrolment of 220 students, providing good Catholic education not only to its students but to their families as well.
Vibrant, multicultural community
One of the great strengths of St Anthony’s Parish is its multicultural diversity. The 2011 ABS Census lists more than 30 nationalities which make up the Marsfield community, with 55% of residents born overseas, and 68% having one or more parent born overseas. Comparison of the 2006 and 2011 Census results show that the extent of multiculturalism is increasing in the Parish of Marsfield.
The Parish adjoins the grounds of Macquarie University, which was established in 1964 and currently enrols around 37,000 students. This results in one of the unique demographic features of the Marsfield parish – Marsfield has 61% more residents in the 20-34 year old age bracket than the national average, and correspondingly, 33% fewer in the 0-19 year age group.
Active Parish Community
With approximately 900 people regularly coming to Mass each weekend, we also have a large range of active parish groups – Mens, Ladies, Singles, Youth, Book Club, St Vincent de Paul Society, Our Lady of Grace, St Francesco di Paola, and some Meditation Groups to name a few.