Longford parishioners showed up in large numbers to celebrate the 150th birthday of St Augustine’s Church on Sunday.
The Catholic church was opened on Thursday, November 7, 1867 by the Catholic Archbishop of Hobart, Archbishop Daniel Murphy.
An estimated 400 people attended the opening of the church in 1867, according to the archives of former Launceston newspaper The Cornwall Chronicle.
It was also reported that a sum of £50 was donated to the collection plate at the mass– an amount deemed by the masthead as “a most generous sum”.
One-hundred-and-fifty years later, another archbishop was at Longford to celebrate a church milestone.
The current Catholic Archbishop of Hobart, Archbishop Julian Porteous presided over the mass for the sesquicentenary of St Augustine’s.
“This is a very beautiful part of Tasmania to be able to celebrate the life of the Catholic community in the midst of the Longford area,” he said.
“It’s always a wonderful opportunity to celebrate history and acknowledge the contribution of people over the years to this parish community.”
Archbishop Porteous said he believes the Catholic Church still plays a big role in rural communities in 2017.
“Opportunities like this remind us there is a very rich heritage, particularly in rural communities, of the presence of the church, and the contribution to the church, to the life of the community.
“The church continues to be a strong and important contributor to the life of local communities, and particularly in rural communities.”