Ballarat and District Irish Association, Ballarat
Five colour photographs of St Patrick's Elaine
St Patrick's Catholic Church Elaine closed in 2013.
Originally known as "Stony Rises" Elaine could once claim the largest Catholic church congregation in the Meredith parish, due to the extensive mining activity in the area. At the time the population of the district supported three hotels and 4 churches and the town was served by a water supply from a reservoir at Lal Lal. Elaine in common with other rural communities has lost many of the services that were once available, but it still retains a well maintained Catholic church and Public Hall as well as a Hotel, Post Office, General Store and Service Station. (http://www.parishofmeredith.org.au/elaine_h.html, accessed 04/03/2014)
The St Patrick‘s Church at Elaine was opened on Sunday 28th, November, 1909 and a report appeared in the Advocate on December 4th, 1909.
"On Sunday last the Very Rev.Dean Phelan, V.G., blessed a new church at Elaine, in the parish of Meredith. The church, which was built by a local firm, Messrs. Smith Bros, is a weather-board building on brick foundations, and gives a clear seating accommodation of 50 feet by 25 feet, independent of sanctuary, sacristy, and porch. After the ceremony, which commenced at 11 o‘clock, the pastor of the parish, Rev.M.Murphy, celebrated Mass, and the choir from St.Joseph‘s, Meredith, sang in a highly creditable manner portions of Weber‘s Mass, also a hymn to St.Patrick, under whose patronage the church is placed. The financial statement made by Fr.Murphy showed that the entire cost of the building, alter, seats, etc, was $1103.10; that $620 had been subscribed previous to the opening, and over $140 received on Sunday, including $20 from his Grace the Archbishop, and $10 each from the Dean and Fr.Murphy. After Communion the Very Rev.Dean Phelan preached on the necessity of a church as a dwelling place for God in His Eucharist Presence. Taking for his text, “Behold the tabernacle of God with men: He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people; and He Himself with them shall be their God.” In doing this work, I am pleased to learn that you have not only received material assistance from some who do not kneel at this altar, but that the authorities of the Presbyterian Church have given you their organ for the Mass today. This generous action deserves our special thanks and is in striking contrast with the anti-Catholic prejudice shown in other quarters. It reminds me of the action of Hiram, King of Tyre, when he heard that Solomon was about to build a house to the God of Israel. Not only did he offer cedar-trees from Libanus, but skilled men to carve the wood, and sent his trained sailors to assist in bringing from the mines of Ophir four hundred and twenty talents of gold for internal decoration. May that spirit of Christian charity ever dwell in your midst! (http://www.parishofmeredith.org.au/elaine_h.html, accessed 04/03/2014)
The stained glass window of St Patrick was consecrated in 1928. According to The Geelong Advertiser on 25 July 1928: One of the largest congregations that has ever been in St.Patrick‘s Church attended on Sunday last, the occasion being the consecration of a memorial window to the memory of James Connell, who died in his 25th year in February last. Deceased was the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. John Connell, respected residents of Elaine. He was loved and respected by all sections of the community, and was closely connected with all sporting bodies. Friends of the deceased and the family were present from Ararat, Stawell, Ballarat, Melbourne, Geelong and all the surrounding districts, also members of other denominations. A few noticed were Cr.C.C.Austin, Mr.H.Young, Mrs.A.Bowers, Mrs.Gray, Mr.and Mrs.R.Norgate and others. The stained window was made by Brookes Robinson in Melbourne, bearing the image of St.Patrick and the inscription thereon “To the undying memory of James Connell, who died 3.2.28 R.I.P.” The beautiful window was kindly placed in position by Mr.Bill Smith, Meredith. High Mass with full ceremonies was offered by Rev.Fr.F.Conlon,P.P., Meredith, with six alter attendants from St.Josephs School, Meredith. The Meredith choir, with Mrs.R.Grant organist, assisted by Miss K.Johnson (violin) rendered beautiful music, the principal parts of the singing being capably handled by Mrs.Thos Brady, Father Conlon took as his text, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. From henceforth now, said the spirit, that they may rest from their labors, for their works follow them.” With well chosen remarks Fr.Conlon touched feelingly on the many qualities of the late member. First as a good son; secondly as a good citizen and sportsman; thirdly as a good child of the church. The choir conducted an impressive ceremony with “Nearer my God to Thee.” (http://www.parishofmeredith.org.au/elaine_h.html, accessed 04/03/2014)