“Church of the Sacred Heart”.
GREYTOWN ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
The church recently erected at Greytown was opened last Sunday forenoon by the Most Rev. Dr Moran. High mass was celebrated by the Bishop, Father O’Neil being deacon; and Father Lynch, sub deacon. There was a large attendance, the building being found insufficient to accommodate all who had put in an appearance. The greater part of the congregation is composed of Polish Catholics, and during the sermon the Bishop appropriately referred to the struggles which Poland had been made in the past in the cause of their religion.
In his introductory remarks, His Lordship said that he had come to dedicate the church, with all the ceremony they could command under the circumstances. It has been dedicated to Almighty God as the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He congratulated them on the erection of the building, which was alike creditable to them and to their pastor. It supplied a long-felt want, and he trusted it would be the means of great spiritual advancement. The majority of people who would worship in this church belonged to the Polish nation, who held a conspicuous place in history as a nation, which existed no longer – that was, it was no longer known in its political capacity. They were a great Catholic people: full of faith; full of piety; practicing their holy religion, and making for it the very greatest sacrifices that people could make. He then dwelt upon the way in which the Polish people, throughout all their persecution had adhered to the Roman Catholic faith; and said that he had no doubt that a great and good day was in store for Poland; he hoped that it would be so and that it would become once more a great Roman Catholic nation. Europe was indebted to the Polish nation for stemming the Mohammedan invasion which had threatened to over-run it. Something was in store for a people who had been so faithful and so brave and who had made so many sacrifices for God and their church. He trusted that they, representatives of that illustrious nation, would never prove themselves to be unworthy of the history of the race to which they belonged. He trusted that the Poles here would give good examples to their fellow Catholics. He hoped that the children would be gathered together in the church every Sunday, and that some of the devoted men of the congregation would come and teach them the catechism – the great truths of their holy religion. He prayed that Almighty God would bless this church and bless the congregation which would worship it.
The musical portion of the ceremony was provided by the Mosgiel Roman Catholic Choir, Madam Ivens presiding at the harmonium.
Visitors were present from Tokomairiro, Kuri Bush, Mosgiel and other districts. The collection amounted to the handsome sum of £75.
“The Taieri Advocate”, 17th October 1888.
While the next generation moved further afield, the congregation slowly dwindled and there was subsequent deterioration of the church building. In 1948, Father M. W. Woods was successful in having the building completely renovated, and the church returned to full use. In February 1971, special celebrations to mark the Centenary of the Church took place. The church had its final mass celebrated there in September of 2005 and was soon deconsecrated after. The church was sold and unfortunately demolished not before some interest was shown to rescue its plight. It was the oldest Catholic Church between Dunedin & Milton.