Church Name: Immaculate Conception
The first church in Geraldine was built under the supervision of Fr Fauvel SM in 1878.
According to the 1892 parish returns, the Church of the Immaculate Conception was built at a cost of £850. In 1892 it had recently been enlarged, the additions costing £380.
Two early references to Catholicism in Geraldine have been found, one referring to this church. Both are from “Hearts, Hands and Voices”, the history of the Geraldine Anglican parish.
“Father Henneberry, a noted missioner, visited Temuka and Geraldine in 1878. The colourful effect of the long procession to mark the conclusion of the Geraldine Catholic Mission was marred by rain. However this did not prevent the march and crowds stood at vantage points to watch the worshippers, all wearing an Emerald green sash and many carrying banners proclaiming their faith, line up on foot and horseback to complete a circuit of the town.”
“When, in 1884, all the church plate was stolen from the Roman Catholic Church of St Mary’s in the Bush, as it was then known, Constable J. Willoughby who considered this a detestable and sacrilegious crime, suggested a combined churches concert for funds to replace the loss. Unfortunately, this was held in January in the middle of harvest and the response was disappointing.