In 1951 Fr Jim Galvin was asked to form a new parish in the rapidly growing g suburb of Hoon Hay. Known as St Catherine’s, the parish was based out of the sitting room of the presbytery – Close Home, on Cracroft Terrace where mass was celebrated. In 1952 a temporary church was built, dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, which later became part of the parish school.
A permanent Church, seating 400, was built and opened by Bishop Joyce on 25 November 1956.
Early parish priests of Halswell were:
- Fr John Galvin 1951 – 1967
- Fr George Harrison 1967 – 1968
- Fr Michael Jones 1968 – 1979
- Fr Kevin Clark 1980 – 1989
- Fr Gerard Creagh 1989 – 1994
The Halswell Catholic Parish area was originally based around the Church of St Agnes and was administered from both St Mary’s on Manchester St and Sacred Heart in Addington.
In 1878 the first church was opened. It was a repurposed Wesleyan Methodist Church dedicated to St Agnes. This was replaced in 1899 by a new church built by Fr Servajean SM.
In 1968 St Agnes became a parish with its first Parish Priest Fr Joe Kelly. The parish and church was dedicated to Sts Peter and Paul.
- Fr Joe Kelly 1968 – 1972
- Mons Gordon Daly 1972 – 1974
- Fr Tom O’Donnell 1974 – 1980
- Fr Ray Schmack. 1980 – 1987
- Fr Finian Conway 1987 – 1999
- Fr John Noonan. 2000 – 2015
In 2016 the parishes of Hoon Hay and Halswell amalgamated to form the parish of Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles. A further amalgamation with the parish of Sancta Maria (Addington/Beckenham) will take place at Pentecost 2020 to form the Christchurch South Catholic Parish.