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Our History

It seems the spiritual needs of Catholics in the Blackheath area were ministered to as early as 1842 by priests from St Bernard's, Hartley. This arrangement existed until 1890 when the Blue Mountains parish, centred in Katoomba, was established. It serviced the needs of the congregations of Blackheath, Mt Victoria and Megalong until 1943.

The Sacred Heart Church was opened and blessed by Cardinal Moran on Australia Day, 1902. In May 1943, a new Parish District with its centre at Blackheath was created. The newly appointed resident priest assumed responsibility for a rather large area including Blackheath, Mt Victoria, Megalong Valley and a church hall at Medlow Bath.

The Sisters of Mercy from Wilcannia ­Forbes diocese opened a small school in Blackheath in 1912. A larger school and convent followed in the early 1940s, allowing the intake of boarders. This was closed in 1970 and the schoolhouse has recently been refurbished as a church hall.

In the early 1990s the steady decline in the numbers of clergy dictated the need for changes in the Blue Mountains. In 1993, two Sisters of Charity took up residence in the parish house and as a result of diocesan consultation, the parish continued without a resident pastor. These Sisters left at the end of 2002 and a Dominican Sister was appointed in 2003 and continues to help the parishioners run the parish. A roster of priests lead the community and many visitors in the Sunday Celebration of Eucharist. This is one of the few groups who don't mind being called 'heathens' as long as you put the 'Black' in front of it.



Panis Angelicus – David Ridoutt

A beautiful setting of Céser Frank's hymn from our much loved and well remembered cantor, the late David Ridoutt' s album 'Ben's Gift'

Who Is that Refugee? – Pat Drummond

A compelling and challenging setting of The Flight into Egypt (Matthew 1:28) from Music Ministry team member, Pat Drummond.

Parish Priests and Pastoral Directors

  • 1943 – Fr. Joseph Purcell

  • 1947 – Fr. R. Ford

  • 1950 – Fr. F. O'Rourke

  • 1954 – Fr. Tim O'Carroll

  • 1959 – Fr. Leo Moran


    Convent priest who filled in for a short time between Parish Priests

  • 1960 – Fr. Mahon

  • 1964 – Fr. Frank Vaughan

  • 1970 – Fr. Dennis Callaghan

  • 1979 – Fr. Kevin Hay

  • 1988 – Fr. Alex Scieberis


    Parish Administrator for a short time

  • 1990 – Fr. Don Griffin


    Parish Administrator

  • 1993 – Sr. Mary Maguire and Sr. Marion Corless


    In the absence of an available Parish Priest, an innovative and highly successfull model of parish life was instituted under the guidance of The Bishop. Two full time Parish Pastoral Leaders were appointed and the laity were called upon to take a higher level of responsibility for the affairs of the parish under the Parish Pastoral Council. Each week different visiting Priests, often retired or from the various orders are invited to celebrate Mass and the sacraments at Sacred Heart Parish

  • 2002 - 2009 – Sr. Lyn Eastmure (Dominican)

  • 2009 - Current – Fr. Robert Sheridan

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