• St Lawrence & Mary Immacualate, Balcatta   ||   St Theresa, Gwelup
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Parish History

The history of the Parish commenced when the then Archbishop of Perth (Western Australia), Redmond Prendiville  acquired from the Smullen family grazing land with frontages to Albert and Main streets, Balcatta.

At that time when the district consisted of scattered rural holdings one could have wondered at the necessity of such a purchase. However, as the post world war immigration program began to have its full effect the foresight and action of the Archbishop was seen to be justified.

A Church-School building was erected in 1956 and initially served as mass centre with Father Rupert Kelly attending from Yokine. In 1960 the Sisters of Mercy established a junior primary school for the children of the young families who where now settling in the district. As the northern suburbs of Perth began to develop rapidly the need far a Parish at Balcatta was recognised and the courageous step was taken.

Archbishop Prendiville ever mindful of the particular and special needs of his flock entrusted the Parish to the Capuchin friars. The Capuchins with a wealth of experience in migrant chaplaincy work were well able to adapt and minister to the growing ethnic population. But all was not easy, the pioneer priests and early parishioners endured many hardships. The financial struggle would have discouraged anyone but the optimistic. The lack of Parish facilities tested even the most loyal. During this time the Capuchins were also given the care of Gwelup, which was later to become part of the Balcatta Parish.

The prospect of a fully functioning Parish seemed so remote as to be impossible. However, the hand of God was always there and over a long period and in small degrees the Parish progressed.

Mr. Lou West a parishioner and architect, personally supervised a self-help building project at a minimal cost to the Parish. This building which forms part of the present school complex, enabled the original Church-School building to be used for the Mass and other services.

After the mid 1960’s the population increased steadily and the formation of St Lawrence Association contributed much to the advancement of the Parish. In 1972 a new Church committee was convened to examine the possibilities of building a new church. After many frustrations and disappointment plans were finally approved in 1974, and the present Church building was completed and opened in 1975.

Mass Times

Mon - Sat 9:00am & 1st Fri of the month 7:30pm
Wed 10:30am at Gwelup

Sat 6:00pm (Vigil)
Sun 8:30am, 10:00am (Italian), 12noon (Croatian), 5:00pm
Sun 11:30am at Gwelup

Every 4th Sunday of the month at 5:00pm


Reconciliation is available every morning during the week
before 9am Mass in St Lawrence church.

Fri 8:30am - 8:55am
1st Fri 8:30am - 8:55am & 7:00pm - 7:25pm
Sat 5:15pm - 5:55pm or by appointment.
(during Advent and Lent 15 minutes before 9:00am Mass)

Sun after 11:30am Mass or by appointment.

© Balcatta/Gwelup Parish
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