Who We Are

and what we do

Where it all began

Until 1911, Catholics in the lower mountains worshipped at Penrith. Then in 1911, the re-routing of the railway line round Glenbrook brought with it a large number of workers and their families.

To begin with, Mass was said on week mornings in a cottage occupied by Fr James Sheridan, (Parish Priest of Penrith 1892-1900), on the site now occupied by the RAAF at Lapstone.

Mass was also said in the home of Mr and Mrs Wood and in the Glenbrook School of Arts. St Finbar's Church was built by Fr Thomas Barlow (Parish Priest of Penrith) at a cost of £200-£300 ($400-$600).

The church was blessed and opened by Archbishop Michael Kelly in August 1912. The architect was Mr Charles Fowler. Mr Norrie donated the land for the church and Mr Nolan donated the Stations of the Cross.

Parish Team

Fr Joseph Lam

Parish Priest

Juliana Khnouf

Parish Secretary

Peter McMahon

Parish Administration

Our Patron Saint

St Finbar

The patron saint of our Parish is St Finbar (Finbarr) whose feast is celebrated on 25 September. Finbar's birth is given as 570AD and Muskerry, Cork, Ireland given as the birthplace.

The country at this time was undergoing great expansion, especially of Christian churches and monasteries. Finbar founded the See of Cork and as a result was made a Bishop.

Finbar worked hard among the people to spread the faith. It is thought that St Finbar began his monastic life on a little island in the lake of Gougane Barra.

As well as a monastery, Finbar established a "great school of learning" which continues even to this day.

St Finbar died in 630AD and he is buried within the enclosure of the monastery he established.

patron saint

Our Church

Church Plaque

One of the inscriptions on the bronze plaques attached to the front of the church refers to the building as a temple and the other as an "ecclesia", in English "a church". Read more using the button.

Main Doors

The main doors of the new church are decorated with certain symbols after the manner of the doors of the great churches of Europe. Read more using the button below.

Use of the Narthex

In a public building, the main features are the forecourt, the portal, the foyer, the main hall or auditorium or place of business. Click the button below to read more.

Pipe Organ

This pipe organ was made in 1881 to the order of St Peter's Anglican Parish, East Sydney. It was installed in St Peter's Church in February, 1882. Use the button below to find out more.

The Sanctuary

The pulpit, which was so formerly prominent in older churches, was designed in an era when there was no electric sound amplification. Find out more using the button below.

The Altar

Although the cross was used symbolically in pre-Christian times, the disciples of Jesus did not use it as a Logo until the fifth century by which time crucifixion as a method of execution has long ceased. Read more below.

The Cross

The cross in the wall of the church was designed by the famous sculptor, Mr Tom Bass (1916-2010). It portrays the five wounds of Christ from which flowed His most precious Blood. Click the button for more.

The Stained Glass Window

In general the window represents the creative and restorative power of God. The window could be called the resurrection window. Learn more about our stained glass window using the button below.

Other Symbols

We think of things as being new when we have not experienced them in our lifetime, which is quite reasonable. Learn more about symbols as well as the Ambo, Chair and Altar. 

The Blessed Sacrament

At the Last Supper, Jesus said: "Do this in commemoration of me." Click the button below to learn more about the Blessed Sacrament and our church.