St Francis' Catholic Church
St Francis' Catholic Church 26-11-2014 - John Schaub
St Francis' Catholic Church 26-11-2014 - John Schaub

St Francis' Catholic Church

Melbourne, VIC 3000

Church Information

Church Name: St Francis' Catholic Church
Church Previous Name: -
Denomination: Catholic Church in Australia
Street Address: Lonsdale St & Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Suburb: Melbourne
State: VIC
Postcode: 3000
Foundation Stone Laid: 04-10-1841
Foundation Stone Notes: 

Foundation stone laid by Fr Patrick Geoghegan on 4/10/1841.

Formal foundation stone text is not known. Information/photographs are invited.

Date Opened: 23-10-1845
Date Closed: unknown


The St Francis' Catholic Church was built between 1841 and 1845, and is the oldest church in Victoria. A small timber chapel (1839) was located on the site while the present church was being built. First Mass was celebrated on 22/5/1842 and the church formally opened on 23/10/1845.

St Francis' became Melbourne's first Catholic Cathedral with the arrival of Bishop James Alipius Goold in 1848. Its Cathedral status ended when the nave of the partially built St Patrick's Cathedral was opened for worship in the late 1860's.

St Mary of the Cross MacKillop (1842-1909) made her first communion in St Francis' in 1850, the same year that bushranger Ned Kelly's parents were married in the church. (Information taken from the church website - )

Photographs uploaded 30/1/2015

Last Updated: Friday 9th February, 2018