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St Mary

Church of the

Immaculate Conception 



Spurred on by the discovery of copper at Burra in 1845, the ‘Gulf Road’ was established between Burra and Port Wakefield along which bullock teams carried copper ore for shipment to Adelaide.

Several villages were established along this road to take advantage of this bullock team traffic. Mintaro was among the first. Public buildings began to appear, and a substantial number of Irish Catholics began to settle in and around Mintaro.

In 1851 Peter and Bridget Brady purchased an 80-acre section and offered Fr Kranewitter SJ the use of their small cottage for Sunday Mass. Over time with the village growing, a need became apparent for the district’s Catholic population to have its own church.

On April 24th, 1855, Peter Brady transferred two acres of his land to Bishop Murphy on which to construct a new Catholic Church.

On June 7th, 1855, the foundation stone was laid by Bishop Murphy for the Church of the Immaculate Conception, the first church in Australia to be given this title.

With the hard work of the parishioners, assisted by Fr Kranewitter and the help of Mr Thompson Priest, a local stonemason, the new church was completed and officially blessed and opened by Bishop Murphy on the 23rd of November 1856.

It remains the oldest, extant Jesuit Church in Australia.

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