Mareeba Catholic Parish
Situated in the heart of a thriving farming area of Far North Queensland, Australia, parish has been under the care of the Augustinians since its very foundation in 1911.
The Parish of Mareeba in the Diocese of Cairns covers an area of approximately 3,000 square kilometres and contains a population of about 16,000 people, 34 per cent of whom are Catholic. The area has been an Augustinian ministry since 1884.
Mareeba (population 10,182) is the largest town in the parish and other centres include Kuranda, Mt Molloy, Biboohra, Julatten, Mt Carbine and Koah. Traditionally the land of the Muluridji people, the parish today is the home to people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds with Italians, Croatians, Filipinos, Albanians, Spaniards and Aborigines all well represented.
Agriculture is the main industry with mangoes, sugar cane, avocados, lychees and coffee being among the most significant crops. The cattle industry and tourism are also important.
The first Mass in the parish was celebrated in a store in Mareeba in 1886. The parish was formally established in 1911 by the Augustinian Order who still serve there. Today there are three Mass centres (Mareeba, Kuranda and Julatten). St Thomas's Parish Primary School has an enrollment of approximately 460 students. There are also religious education programmes in the state schools in the parish, adult catechumenate, social justice group and many other active groups and organisations. A feature of the parish is the Filipino, Italian, Aboriginal and international liturgies that are celebrated each year.
Mareeba Parish has a Catholic primary school; St Thomas of Villanova Parish School catering for students from Prep to Year 7. St Stephen’s Catholic College opened in Mareeba in 2006 and caters for students from year 8 through to year 12, and now has over 390 students.Click here to visit the parish web page.