It was commissioned by Fr Patrick Geoghegan, the first Catholic priest in the Port Phillip District of New South Wales, which became Victoria in 1851. In 1848, St Francis' became the cathedral church of the first Catholic Bishop of Melbourne, James Goold, and continued as a cathedral until 1868, when the diocesan seat was moved to the still unfinished St Patrick's Cathedral (which was not formally consecrated until 1897).
Centrally located in the Melbourne's CBD, St Francis' has never lost its place as one of the city's most popular and widely used churches, and today is the busiest church in Australia, with more than 10,000 worshippers attending each week. Since 1929, it has been a centre of Eucharistic Life in the care of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament.
The church is listed with Victorian Heritage Register, the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) and the Australian Heritage Commission. Although there have been many changes made to the building, including the erection of a new tower, a gift from the Grollo family, to house the original 1853 bell imported from Dublin, the church remains essentially as it was designed by Samuel Jackson.
This post is part of the Our Beautiful World meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Spiritual Sundays meme,
and also part of the inSPIREd Sunday meme.