St Francis Xavier, The Saint.

St Francis Xavier, the Patron Saint of Frankston Catholic Parish, was born in Basque speaking Spain on the 7thApril 1506.

In his early years he was headed for an academic career, but fell under the gently powerful influence of Saint Ignatius Loyola while he was studying at the University of Paris. He became a member of the founding group of the Society of Jesus – the Jesuits – in 1534. During this time he poured his life out in preaching and teaching the Gospel, and had an extraordinary devotion to caring for the sick.

In 1541 he was chosen to undertake his life’s work – to preach the Gospel in Asia. He sailed from Portugal, and after a long and harrowing journey he arrived in Goa on the southern coast of India on the 6th May 1542.

In a brief ten years, he baptized thousands establishing communities of faith. He visited India, Sri Lanka, Malacca (Malaysia), and many of the islands of Indonesia. He also made a small but very profound impression on Japan – planting a Christian community there that was later to undergo a fierce persecution. He was heading for China when he was taken ill, and died on a desolate island off the Chinese coast on the 3rd December 1552. His body was taken back to India, where he is buried in the Basilica of the Good Jesus, Goa. He was declared a saint in 1622.

One of the legends of St. Francis Xavier is recalled in the large stained glass window by the artist Alan Sumner on the side wall of the Frankston Church. It shows Francis disembarking from the ship on one of his many journeys in South-East Asia. As he steps into the little boat which is to take him ashore, his mission cross falls into the water. This was a precious possession of Francis, since it had been given to him by St. Ignatius Loyola, who sent Francis to Asia. Francis thought he had lost the cross in the deep water, but to his amazement when he stepped ashore a large crab was holding it between its claws.

In the window are also the words, “Da mihi animas”, which means, “Give me souls”’ It expresses Francis deep desire to share the life giving story of Jesus to all.

In 1927 St. Francis Xavier was declared, with Therese of Lisieux, the Patron Saint of Missions. They are also the patron saints of Australia.

St Francis Xavier, Frankston Parish.

1889The parish was founded originally in 1889, separated from the Dandenong Mission.
1899 Parish operations moved to Mornington.
1921The late Fr Quilter, of Dandenong, built the original Church.
1926 The parish was founded, the late Fr. Toomey being the first parish priest. He added to the first Church and doubled its size.
1927The Presbytery was built.
1928St Francis Xavier School was opened.
1930The Convent was built.
1936 The late Fr. Fitzpatrick came as parish priest.
1940The new Church at Chelsea was built.
1946More rooms were added to School
1951Chelsea Parish became independent from Frankston. Fr. Kealy installed as parish priest. Church and school site was bought at East Frankston. Church and School site bought at Austin’s Road, Seaford.
1954New Church completed and blessed by Archbishop Mannix.
1955Sunday Mass was commenced at Seaford in Hall.
1958New School completed and blessed by Bishop Fox.
1960Church and School site bought at Langwarrin. Building of Church/Hall at Seaford commenced.
1962St Anne’s Church/Hall completed.
1963 The Holy Family Church – the Pines, North Frankston established. St John’s Church Hall – East Frankston established.
1967St John’s School – East Frankston established.
1978 St Jude’s Parish & School – Langwarrin established.
1980St Augustines School – Frankston South established.
1982Fr Barry Moran appointed Parish Priest.
1986 Opening of the new St. Francis Xavier School – Park Street.
1986Renovations to the Church Sanctuary
2000Xavier Centre and office complex built onto existing Church.
2002Fr Eugene Ahern
2006Fr Denis Stanley
2014Fr Raj Lourdusamy appointed as Parish Administrator
2017Fr Chinua Okeke CSSp - Parish Priest. Fr Jude Agorchukwu CSSp - Assistant Parish Priest
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