St Raphael’s Church was opened in the 1930’s and has very strong linkages with our Primary School – both were established around the same time.
Essentially our Church retains its traditional period charm with its many unique and classical features including our tall ornate columns and ceilings. It stands proud as a wonderful example of Australian craftsmanship. Our glorious stained glass windows for example were made by Master Craftsman – John Radecki who also worked on St Mary’s Cathedral and is also responsible for many of the most beautiful stained glass windows found in Churches all over Sydney.
We were indeed fortunate and very grateful to receive a generous bequest from Mrs Alma Emily Smith enabling us to substantially renovate our Church in 1997.
St Raphael’s Primary School began with the arrival of four Sisters of Charity in 1929. They held classes in the church, as many schools did in those days, on verandahs, in local houses and even in a tennis shed.
On 14th September 1952 the Sisters opened a new school and to the delight of all. Bishop Lyons (representing Cardinal Gilroy) processed down George Street flanked by a guard of honour comprised of the Children of Mary, Boy Scouts and children from the school.
The school expanded in the sixties and by the early seventies had to purchase four demountable classrooms to cater for the extra numbers.
By 1990 all buildings were in a state of disrepair and a submission was made to the Federal Government for assistance to refurbish the original building and erect three new classrooms, administration and staff facilities. The submission was successful and building commenced in 1994. The new St Raphael’s school was officially opened and blessed by Cardinal Clancy on Sunday 10th March 1996. A magnificent new school hall will also be available for all to enjoy from 2011.
In asserting our vision for Catholic Education it is fitting to build on the firm foundations laid by the Sisters of Charity who staffed the school from 1929 to 1974 and the many lay teachers who worked with them in sharing the Good News and providing a sound education for the children of St Raphael’s.