St Matthew's Catholic Church
Restoration Appeal

St Matthew's is now a part of the National Trust of Australia. With such a beautiful old Church we are hoping to restore it to it's original condition. It is starting to show it's age with a number of cracks and rust that requires urgent attention. If you would like to donate to this worthy cause, it would be greatly appreciated. To make a donation, please contact the Parish Office 4577 3073 or you can make an electronic Funds transfer to:

National Trust of Australia (NSW) St Matthew's Catholic Church Restoration Appeal

BSB 032 044 

Account Number 829132.

Parish History in Brief

In 1831, the first Parish Priest Rev CV Dowling was appointed and St Matthew’s Catholic Parish was established in 1832. Bishop John Bede Polding later described Windsor parish as “70 miles long and very wide”. He also said that of the 140-odd communicants, no more than six or eight had been to confession for many years.


Rev JV Corcoran was appointed Parish Priest in 1835, and it was recorded that because the road to Windsor was so bad, coach drivers refused to travel on it. This may have been the cause of the death of Rev Corcoran who in 1837, was killed driving his gig near the tollgate.


James Doyle, a parishioner, died in 1836 leaving 350 pounds ($700) which was used to build the new church. In 1837, deeds were issued for the church and a school on the corner of Tebbutt and Church Streets. The church and school (which is presently the Parish Hall) was built by 1840.

Catholic education began in Windsor in 1834 when James and Esther Cassidy opened the first school. By 1838 there were 104 scholars attending. The Good Samaritan Sisters arrived in 1875 and have continued to be a presence in the life of the parish. Throughout the years, the Catholic community has often been asked to support those adversely affected by natural disasters.


In 1867, the 12 members of the Eather family drowned in floodwaters and were buried from St Matthew’s Church. One of the longest serving parish priests, Rev Leo Murphy (1954-1976) has been credited with bringing about a greater understanding and respect between Catholics and other religious denominations in the Windsor area. He was elected president of the Bowling Club, located across the road from the presbytery and was greatly respected by its members.


Rev James Dooley followed him as Parish Priest from 1976-1993. During this time, Bede Polding College was opened at South Windsor. Also planning commenced for a new Catholic primary school at Bligh Park and for the refurbishment/rebuilding of St Matthew’s Church.


Rev Maurice McNamara arrived in 1993 and was present for the building of Chisholm Primary School and for the completion of the refurbishment of St Matthew’s historic church.


Parish Priests & Administrators


Rev CV Dowling

Rev JV Corcoran 

Rev John Brady

Rev J Slattery 

Rev WJ Dunne

Rev J Kenny

Rev M McGrath 

Rev JJ Therry

Rev J Grant

Rev NJ Coffey

Rev P Hallihan  

Rev JA Sheehy

Rev Maurus   

Rev J Hayes

Rev James Sheridan

Rev B McDonnell 

Rev Lynch 

Rev S Whelan 

Rev P Galvin                                       

Rev W O'Flynn

Rev M Coffey

Rev Leo S Murphy

Rev James Dooley

Rev Richard Cattell (Administrator)

Rev Arthur Cook (Administrator)  

Rev Maurice McNamara

Rev Clifford D’Souza (Administrator) 

Rev Arthur Cook

Rev Robert William

1832 - 1835

1835 - 1837

1837 - 1840

1840 - 1843

1843 - 1845


1845 - 1847

1847 - 1848

1848 - 1851

1851 - 1852

1852 - 1874

1874 - 1878

1878 - 1886

1886 - 1895

1895 - 1898



1920 - 1924


1940 - 1947

1947 - 1954

1954 - 1976

1976 - 1993



1993 - 2008

2008 - 2010

2010 - 2017



© 2014 by St Matthew's Catholic Parish, Windsor, NSW

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