St Patrick's of Riverview (once of Rothesay)

This church was built in Violet Town in 1872.
Outgrown by it's congregation, it was moved in 1899 to Moorngag (West of Tatong). 


It opened there on February 10th 1900, and became
"St Patrick's of Rothesay".

Mamie Sullivan, Percy Branigan and George Ginnivan were the first three children to be christened in the church. (See article below)


It was closed 3rd May 2003. This photo is of those attending the last service.

(Article from Benalla Ensign)


The church was bought by Kevin Smith, who has moved it to his home "Riverview". Kevin's family have attended the church for over 100 years.



The church came with its original glass, which has now survived two moves.

The fittings stayed with the church, and include a statue of St Patrick himself.




On March 17 2005, a St Patrick's day celebration was held, raising money for the devastating Indonesian tsunami.


Kevin also tends a remarkable collection of old Holdens.

From the Benalla Ensign, 2003: By Vincent Branigan
“I was baptised in this church the day it was opened!”
It was a proud boast uttered many times by my paternal grandfather while I grew up in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Every second Sunday, we dutifully gave one hour back to our maker at St Patrick’s, Rothesay... that old weatherboard church that has now stood innocuously behind those massive pine trees at the intersection of the Samaria and Tatong Roads for over 103 years.
On May 3, Father Dennis Crameri celebrated Mass at St Patrick’s, Rothesay for the final time.
The congregation was made up of familiar faces from my childhood, such as Jack Duffy and Margaret McCauley and people like Denise O’Brien making a sentimental journey back to their roots.
Finally, there was a sprinkling of parishioners from Benalla simply with a profound sense of history.
During and after the service it was a time for much reminiscing and nostalgia.
But what an important occasion it must have been on Sunday, February 10, 1900 for my great grandparents, their three young children and the Tatong, Samaria and Swanpool communities.
The church already had had another life, having been moved by horse and cart from Violet Town (over 50 kms away) to its current site.
It must not have been easy for my great grandmother.
Having given birth to her third child, Percival Sebastian (my grandfather) three weeks earlier on the family farm at Swanpool, she would have been anxious, no doubt, to ensure that her eldest child, nine-year-old Mary (who in 1923 was to bleed to death giving birth to her first child), was in her Sunday best.
Her second child, five-year-old Christopher (who in 1917 was rendered a paraplegic in the madness that was the trenches of World War I) would probably have been a handful.
Then there was the 10 km journey by horse and cart along the dirt tracks on what was most likely a stifling hot summer’s day.
Three days later, on February 13, 1900, the Benalla Standard reported on the opening of St Patrick’s, Rothesay:
‘The opening on Sunday was taken in hand by His Lordship, the Coadjutor Bishop of Bendigo, Dr Revile, assisted by The Very Reverend Dean Davey who performed the dedication ceremony.
“It was attended by a large crowd of many persons of different denominations or gratifications expressed on all sides.
“There were three children christened at the church on Sunday. They were: George Ginnivan, son of Mr and Mrs John Ginnivan of Samaria; Mamie Sullivan, daughter of Mr and Mrs Thomas Sullivan of Tatong and Percy Branigan, son of Mr and Mrs Matthew Branigan of Swanpool.”
The building has been purchased by a parishioner and will soon be relocated a second time to a site near Tatong.
According to Father Dennis, it will still be available for the odd service and special occasion such as a wedding or funeral.
The land will eventually be sold.
 - Vincent Branigan


A Potted History of St Patrick
(Potted from several difference sources)
Saint Patrick is believed to have been born Patricius Magonus Sucatus, or Succat, in the late 4th century, possibly 385 or 389.
According to his "Confession" he was born in the little settlement of Bannavem of Taburnia (vico banavem taburniae) which may have been in Britain, Wales, or perhaps in northern France. His father was a Roman official.
By his own account, at age 16 he was captured by seafaring raiders who sold him into slavery in Ireland where he spent six years.
On escaping he studied for the priesthood in France and eventually made his way back to Ireland, to continue the work of the Christian missionary Palladius.
Ireland fully converted to Christianity within 200 years and was the only country in Europe to Christianize peacefully. Patrick's Christian conversion ended slavery, human sacrifice, and most intertribal warfare in Ireland.
He is thought to have died on March 17 in the year 460, 461, 492, or 493, at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, or at Glastonbury, England.
Most of what is known about him comes from his two works, the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians.
Saint Patrick is credited with driving snakes from Ireland, but it is unlikely there ever were any. The idea was probably symbolic of the ending of pagan practices.
Legend tells that Patrick taught the Irish about the Trinity by using the shamrock, a three-leaved clover; but that legend appears to have begun in the 18th-century.
While not the first to bring Christianity to Ireland, Patrick is said to have encountered the Druids at Tara and abolished their pagan rites.
Ireland's Catholics and Protestants each have built St. Patrick in their own image. Catholics say that Patrick was consecrated as a bishop and that the pope himself sent him to convert the heathen Irish. Ireland's Protestant minority deny this, depicting him as anti-Roman-Catholic and crediting him with inventing a distinctly Celtic church
St. Patrick is also patron of Nigeria, which was evangelized primarily by Irish clergy.

Through here to Riverview's own website...


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