Our History

In the Beginning…

  • 1853 Father William McGinty visited Ballina. He travelled from Ipswich via Tenterfield, Grafton, Casino and Coraki and then by boat to Ballina, visiting members of the small flock, baptised 3 children, and returned via Duck Creek, Tatham, and Kyogle. He did it all again in 1854.
  • Father Timothy McCarthy appointed priest-in-charge of New England Plains ‘east to the Pacific Ocean and north to the Tweed’. He resided in Armidale and over the next eight years made annual visits.
  • 1862 Father J Murphy appointed first priest-in-charge of a Parish which encompassed Coffs Harbour, Tenterfield, the Tweed and Ballina, this was administered from Grafton.
  • 1881 Church of St Francis Xavier Ballina was opened by Bishop Torreggiani
  • Ballina gazetted a Municipality – population approx. 600
  • 1890 Parish of Ballina established – Ballina population 1000
  • 1901 New St Francis Xavier Church opened
  • 1955 Holy Family Church opened in Lennox Head
  • 1962 New brick church opened at Ballina by Bishop Farrelly

Ballina’s First Church (1881)

Ballina’s Second Church (1901)