The Catholic Church has a long and proud tradition in Yass district. This has been recorded by Rev Brian Maher in his book “Memories of Yass Mission” which was published on the occasion of the sesquicentenary of the Parish in 1988. You can download this publication here. This page includes some highlights.


1821 – Explorer Hamilton Hume reaches the Yass Plains

1833 - Father John Joseph Therry travelling to Holbrook by dray visited John Kennedy Hume's home "Collingwood", Henry O'Brien at "Douro", also the Davis and Manton families

1837 – Yass Village site officially gazetted 

The Yass Mission

1838 – Bishop Polding blessed the foundation stone of the proposed church on 27 August, the eve of St Augustine of Hippo’s feastday

1839 - Father Charles Lovat from Preston Lancashire, ordained Jesuit priest in Rome, and teacher at Stonyhurst, was appointed to the 'Argyle Mission'. First presbytery erected.

1844 – Bishop Polding blesses the church of St Augustine (now the Chapel)

1954 - Our Lady of Rosary Church Wee Jasper opened

1956 – New church of St Augustine opened on 11th April by Dr Guilford Young

1988 - Restoration of presbytery completed


1847 – St Augustine’s school opened

1861 – Father McIlroy establishes a separate school for girls

1875 - Sisters of Mercy from the Rochford Bridge community in Ireland were brought to Yass, led by Sister Mary Paul Fielding.

Matters of Interest

  • Father Lovat's Bell - erected in 1868 as a tribute to Fr Lovat
  • Yass Church Lands
  • The Grube Painting of Yass - Yass as it was in 1858
  • Rev Patrick Hartigan - ("John O'Brien") a native son of Yass and pupil of the parish school.

Parish Priests

Rev Charles Lovat (1839-1849); Rev Patrick Magennis (1849-1857); Rev Michael McAlroy (1857-1861); Rev Patrick Bermingham (1857-1861); Dean James Hanly (1861-1867); Rev Richard Duigan (1868-1870); Dean Patrick O'Keefe (1871-1906); Most Rev Guilford Young (1948-1954); Rev Michael Casey (1955-1969); Rev Daniel Greene (1969-1970); Rev Dermot O'Hurley (1970-1981); Rev Philip Buckley (1981-1988); Rev William Crahan (1988-2002); Rev Laurie Bent (2002-2008); Rev Mick Burke (2008-  )

CLICK HERE for a full list of priests that have served in the Parish of Yass.

Mount Carmel Centenary

The Centenary Programme was published in October 1975. It was compiled and edited by the Historical Committee of the Centenary Celebrations Committee: Sister M Aquinas, Mrs J Abercrombie, Mr J Bingham, Mr Adrian Roche, Mr R Whitehurst, Mr Robin Woods, Sisters Brenda, Magdalena & John. Here are some highlights:

180 Year Parish Celebrations

In October 2018 the Parish celebrated 180 years since its foundation. To mark the occasion Peter Bindon and Anthony MacQuillan designed and edited a revised version of "Fr Charles Lovat - Shepherd of Shepherds", based on a series of articles originally published by Peggy Jones between 1980 and 1982. You can view some highlights from the book here.

Peter and Anthony along with Maureen Collins and Diana MacQuillan also produced a book on the Lovat Chapel, the first St Augustine's church in Yass. The book includes a brief history of the chapel along with a description of the historic stained glass windows.

Both publications are available for sale from the Parish Office at $30 and $5 respectively.