St. Peter’s College Chapel’s Centenary Celebratory Mass

Priests and dignitaries include: Fr’s Herman Hengel, Peter Kooloos, Avinash George, Denis O’Bryan, Joseph Abutu as well as Maria Kirkwood Director of Catholic Education, Diocese of Sale Catholic Education, with St. Peter’s College Principal, Mr Chris Black

This St. Peter’s College Chapel was originally the mass centre of the Catholic Church of Tooradin. The Archbishop of Melbourne, Daniel Mannix blessed St. Peter’s Church on Sunday, December 3rd , 1922 and it remained the centre for mass for some eighty years, hosting thousands of liturgies, as well as baptisms, weddings, funerals and other sacramental celebrations during this time.

By 2002, the worshipping community of Tooradin had diminished in size and the declining number of vocations to the priesthood meant that the Diocese of Sale could no longer appoint a Priest to minister to the small Tooradin community. As such, the building became redundant.

The Tooradin Catholic Community did not want to see their Church just fall into disrepair or, even worse, decay and be neglected. So in 2002, they invited Mr. Terry Feely, the College Principal of St. Peter’s College to meet with them, and they offered him the building for use as a school Chapel. He was immediately taken with the building as it was dedicated to St. Peter, the patron of our College. He was particularly pleased with the symbolism within the building, especially the stained glass windows which not only contain Petrine symbols such as the Keys to the Kingdom and the symbol of Peter’s martyrdom – an upside down cross, but also the colours used in the windows were the same as the St. Peter’s College colours: maroon and gold. The side windows and the exterior of the building also echo the grey that is part of the St. Peter’s College badge. The large statue of St. Peter that has pride of place in the foyer was also an attractive asset of the building.

Consequently, the St. Peter’s College community, through Terry Feely, gratefully took possession of the building. The building was moved, via the South Gippsland Highway on the back of two trucks and it was delivered to the Cranbourne Campus in February, 2003. It was re-dedicated by Fr. Andrew Wise on September 14 th , 2003. Today, the building is commonly referred to as the St. Peter’s Chapel and is used regularly for House Feast Days, ‘Chapel masses’, Year 7 Orientation sessions, RE classes, lunchtime prayer and other special events such as the recent visit of our Bishop of Sale, Greg Bennet (who sends his best wishes today, as he was unable to attend in person).

On Tuesday 11 October, 2022, members of the community of St. Peter’s College, Priests and dignitaries gathered in the Chapel at St. Peter’s College Cranbourne Campus in thanksgiving and celebration to commemorate our Chapel’s centenary, and all that it has been over the past 100 years to the Tooradin and Cranbourne communities.