NEXT Saturday St Mary’s Catholic church, on the corner of Short street and South Coast highway, will celebrate 90 years as an integral part of the Denmark community.
The first church was built in 1897 – only months after St Leonards Anglican church – by the Millar brothers. Its first priest, Father Mateau, travelled from Albany to serve mass.
After Millars left town in 1905 the building was cannibalised, fell into disrepair and was not rebuilt until 1927.
Since then many different priests have either called Denmark home or travelled from Albany or Mount Barker.
The current priest is Father Randolf Subiaco and the deacon is Chris Colman, who was ordained in 1991.
One of the special features of St Mary’s is the colourful and beautiful Stations of the Cross painted by deacon Colman.
The celebrations on Saturday will commence at 3.30pm, with a program of recognition of parish contributors and a reading of the history of the parish.
This will be followed by a ceremonial tree planting to symbolise the growth and hope for the flourishing of faith in the parish.
Bishop Gerald Houlahan from Bunbury diocese will officiate, assisted by parish pastoral chair Adrian Hinds and a special youth representative, Rosanne Nguyen.
Mass will be celebrated at 4.30pm, followed by a simple dinner in marquees erected with assistance from the surf club.
“Everyone from Denmark is welcome,” Fr Randolf said.
“This is not just for parish members, this is a celebration for the whole community.
“Mt Barker parish members are also very welcome if they would like to come.”