The parishes of Hornby and Darfield were merged in 2013 under Fr Paulo Filoiali-i.
Regarded as a rural area Hornby had no separate identity and was mostly regarded as an outlying area of Riccarton. Officially part of St Mary’s Parish, based on Manchester St, Hornby became part of the newly created Riccarton Parish when it was established in 1924. It was served by priests of the Riccarton Parish until 1949, when it moved under the pastoral area of Our Lady Of Victories, Sockburn.
In 1898 a church was opened on Hornby Junction Road (later called Carmen Road). By 1950 the Church had moved to Tower Street and was served by the Sockburn Parish priests.
In 1957 a church hall was erected by the Sockburn Parish in Manuere St, Hei Hei. A year later a new parish was established in Hornby and, being the centennial year of the apparition of Our Lady to St Bernadette at Lourdes, it was decided to call the new parish St Bernadette’s.
Priests who have served in the Hornby Parish:
|Fr Frank Owens (Admin)||1958|
|Fr Ted Brosnahan||1958 – 1965|
|Fr Tony O’Reilly||1965 – 1970|
|Fr Rodney Falconer||1971 – 1974|
|Fr Kevin Clark||1975 – 1980|
|Fr Kevin O’Reilly||1980 – 1983|
|Fr Frank Kelly||1984 – 1995|
|Fr Brian Fennessy||1996 – 2001|
|Fr Christopher Friel||2002 – 2003|
|Fr Paulo Filoiali-I *||2004 – current|
|*Fr Paulo became PP of the newly merged Hornby Darfield Parish in 2013|
The formation of the parish of Darfield dates back to 1888 when Rev J J O’Donnell was appointed the first rector. Prior to this the area, with a strong Catholic community, was included in the Lincoln and Leeston parishes, with Mass celebrated by Fr Chervier SM at the church in Darfield, which was opened, debt-free, on 31 October 1880. During Fr O’Donnell’s time a presbytery was built and the little Church of the Holy Angels at Darfield was extended and renovated.
In the early years the Darfield Parish consisted of three churches (Darfield, St Catherine’s, Springfield and St Teresa’s, Coalgate). The Church of the Holy Angels burned down in 1935, and was a devastating loss to the Parish. Remarkably, within eighteen months, St Joseph’s opened (11 October 1936) due to the dedication and commitment of the priest and laity in the Parish.
Some of the early priests who served the Parish:
|Fr James J O’Donnell||1888 – 1892|
|Fr Chastagnon||1892 – 1902?|
|Fr Dean Foley (Few months)||1902|
|Fr P W Ahern||1903 – 1908|
|Fr Tyler MSH||1908 – 1911|
|Fr Fanning MSH||1911 – 1912|