Originally part of St Mary’s Parish on Manchester St, the parish of Riccarton was formed in 1924, with Fr Thomas Hanrahan appointed the first parish priest. From 1917 a small wooden church, located on Peer St, served the area west of Hagley Park. It became the Parish church until 1929 when a stone church was built and dedicated to St Teresa.
In the early years of the parish, the education of the children was under the care of the Sisters of Mercy at Villa Maria in a building known as ‘The Meadow School’, originally the wooden parish church. By 1935 it was decided to site a school beside the parish church, which would be attended by the younger children. St Teresa’s Kindergarten opened in November 1936. In 1940 it was designated a full primary school, with the Sisters of Mercy staffing the school until 1956 when the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny took over the school.
By the mid-1960s the church was packed to capacity and the parish considered extending the existing church. In the end a complete rebuild was deemed more practical and the new St Teresa’s was opened and blessed by Bishop Ashby on 25 May 1969.
The parish, through the clergy, various groups and pastoral workers, have continued to support the needs of the congregation, with masses offered for the Spanish, Tongan and Filipino communities.
Parish Priests who have served in Riccarton parish:
|Rev Thomas Hanrahan||1924 – 1963|
|Rev Denis Lordan||1964 – 1967|
|Rev Thomas Liddy||1967-1977|
|Rev Leo O’Connor||1978 – 1982|
|Fr B W Pierce (Co-Pastor)||1979 -1981|
|Fr J Kelly (Co-Pastor)||1982|
|Rev Gerry Kane||1981 – 1989|
|Patrick Thwaites||1986 – 1997|
|Bishop Barry Jones (Administrator)||1998|
|Fr John O’Connor (Administrator)||1999|
|Rev Jim Nicholas||2000 – 2006|
|Fr R Rodelas (Admin?)||2007|
|Rev Ramiel Alvaraz||2007 – 2011|
|Rev Antoine Thomas CSJ||2011 – 2017|
|Fr Michael Therese Scheerger CSJ||2018 –|