The ceremonies in May 2018 were threefold. Firstly on Saturday afternoon 12 May there was a pilgrimage bus tour of the boundaries of the parish, and of church sites used during the past 140 years, many of which – like Kyabram West – no longer contain buildings. Secondly there was a commemorative dinner on the Saturday evening. Thirdly, on Sunday morning the present Bishop of Sandhurst came to St Augustine’s Church in Kyabram to celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving and to witness the launching by Fr David Austin O.S.A. of a 350-page historical book about the Kyabram Catholic heritage.
Attending these events were visitors from other parts of Victoria and from interstate. Among these guests were Augustinian friars and Brigidine Sisters, whose Religious Orders were present in Kyabram for most of the twentieth century. This included Fr Dave Austin, the present Augustinian Provincial (leader) in Australia, who had been the final Augustinian parish priest in Kyabram when the Order departed the district in 2006.
The historical book launched on 13 May 2018 was entitled Kyabram Catholic Heritage, Ever Ancient Ever New, 1878 – 2018. Containing 350 A4-sized pages, the publication is the fruit of four years of research and writing by the Parish History Team. It contains eight chapters, many of which have specific authors because different chapters variously feature chronological history, Augustinian/Brigidine/Aboriginal spirituality, and parish social/sporting/organizational history. The book has countless photographs – many in colour - of parish buildings, parish groups and parish events; it is essentially a history of the life (including migrants to Australia) and religious practices of many generations of Kyabram Catholics.
When the church was opened at Kyabram West (near Kyabram) in 1878, the district was served by diocesan priests from Echuca. Augustinian priests took responsibility for the parish of Echuca in 1886, and hence Augustinians served in Kyabram area right through until their departure in 2006. Since 1902 the Augustinians lived in Kyabram; at least two (or sometimes three) of them continued to do so simultaneously until the Order withdrew from Northern Victoria in 2006. Between 1902 and 2006 there were a succession of at least twenty Augustinian parish priests at Kyabram, and a greater number of Assistant Priests.
Kyabram Catholic Heritage, Ever Ancient Ever New, 1878 – 2018.Published at St. Augustine’s Parish History Team Kyabram 2018
(350 pages, with glossary, appendices, endnotes and an index)
Cost: AUS$50 approx. For more details, postage cost and payment options, contact the Kyabram Parish Office by phone at (03) 5852 1026 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org En389