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Church of the Good Shepherd  Riverton

From the earliest times of the Gilbert District Council area, Catholics were fairly numerous. After the Jesuits arrived from Austria and established their monastery at Sevenhill, the Catholics of the north, including Riverton, came under their care.

The first Catholic chapel in the district was built at Navan in the 1840’s, but collapsed in the 1870’s and was not rebuilt, the Catholics using the Riverton Institute for many years.

The Marrabel church was opened in 1868 and from then, Riverton became part of the Marrabel Parish, although the Sevenhill Jesuits continued to visit. In 1903, Fr Maher took charge of Marrabel and it was he who saw to the building of the Riverton Catholic Church, which was opened in 1904 on May 1. The committee was made up of Fr Mayer, Mr M Nash, Mr John Callery and Dr R McM Glynn. According to a newspaper article at that time, the local congregation  responded very generously to a subscription list, as did the Tarlee and Marrabel parishioners, showing the traditional characteristics of Irish generosity. Stone from the  South Australia Co was given free of royalty and a large amount of stone and sand was carted free by members of the congregation.

The transept was added to the church in 1920 because of increasing numbers, and in 1924, the presbytery was erected. Fr Brady, who was the parish priest from 1919-1928,  moved his headquarters from Marrabel to Riverton in 1920, where he resided in a small cottage until the completion of the presbytery, as the Archbishop had decreed he should reside in Riverton.

The churches that eventually made up the Parish at that time were at Tarlee, Marrabel, Eudunda and Riverton.

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