Learn more about our vibrant church community, serving the spiritual needs of Springwood for well over a century.
Our parish ministry groups work with the church in reaching the community.
Learn more about our patron saint, St Thomas Aquinas.
WHO WE ARE
Located in New South Wales, in the lower Blue Mountains within the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, our Parish is home to the many Catholic families who live in the Springwood area. At the heart of St Thomas Aquinas Springwood Parish is a faith community whose foundations date to 1839.
Today, we are active in ministry, pastoral care and outreach within our Parish as well as the wider Mountains community, including through St Vincent De Paul conferences, an Over 50s Group, Children's Liturgy, Youth Group, Rosary, Choir, Parish Playgroup, Parish representation with the Trustees of Catholic Healthcare, Centreing Prayer, Catholic Womens League and Life Ascending.
If you are new to the Springwood area and would like to become a part of our Parish community, we look forward to meeting you at Mass, or please feel free to contact us at any time.
Our Parish Team oversees the running of St Thomas Aquinas parish, including our ministry teams.
Fr Paul Slyney
Fr Michael Gathuku
Chris Joy and Deborah Breytenbach
Saint Thomas Aquinas OP (Italian: Tommaso d'Aquino, lit. 'Thomas of Aquino'; 1225 - 7 March 1274) was an Italian Dominican friar, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church. He was an immensely influential philosopher, theologian, and jurist in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is also known as the Doctor Angelicus and the Doctor Communis. The name Aquinas identifies his ancestral origins in the county of Aquino in present-day Lazio.
He was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology and the father of Thomism; of which he argued that reason is found in God. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy developed or opposed his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law, metaphysics, and political theory. Unlike many currents in the Church of the time, Thomas embraced several ideas put forward by Aristotle-whom he called "the Philosopher"-and attempted to synthesise Aristotelian philosophy with the principles of Christianity. His best-known works are the Summa Theologiae and the Summa contra Gentiles. His commentaries on Scripture and on Aristotle also form an important part of his body of work. Furthermore, Thomas is distinguished for his eucharistic hymns, which form a part of the Church's liturgy.
The Catholic Church honours Thomas Aquinas as a saint and regards him as the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood, and indeed the highest expression of both natural reason and speculative theology. In modern times, under papal directives, the study of his works was long used as a core of the required program of study for those seeking ordination as priests or deacons, as well as for those in religious formation and for other students of the sacred disciplines (philosophy, Catholic theology, church history, liturgy, and canon law).
Thomas Aquinas is considered one of the Catholic Church's greatest theologians and philosophers. Pope Benedict XV declared: "This (Dominican) Order ... acquired new luster when the Church declared the teaching of Thomas to be her own and that Doctor, honored with the special praises of the Pontiffs, the master and patron of Catholic schools." The English philosopher Anthony Kenny considers Thomas to be "one of the dozen greatest philosophers of the western world".
A brief history of St Thomas Aquinas parish
The history of the Church at Springwood dates back to 1839 when it was part of Penrith Parish under Rev Charles Sumner. Mass was celebrated at Thomas Boland's Springwood Inn and later at their home. The Bolands were at one time the only Catholic family in the area.
In 1907, the resident priest in Springwood, Rev James Sheridan, arranged a boarding school under the control of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart. The parish was first entrusted to Rev PC Cregan, who had been sent by Cardinal Moran to build St Columba's Seminary.
In 1920, St Thomas primary school opened in the old church, which had been moved to Hawkesbury Road.
A new era began in 1935 with the arrival of resident parish priests, assisted by seminary staff. Rev Daniel Galvin built a presbytery and new school between 1935 and 1946; Rev Thomas Leen erected a retaining wall and Rev Canavan built another school.
Between 1969 and 1977, Rev Leslie Bagot added a second storey to the original school. Rev James O'Meara saw the old seminary become a co-ed Catholic high school in 1979 and in 1981, 1983, 1985 and 2001, four stages of a new primary school were built on parish property.
In 1986, Rev Michael McGloin moved the old parish to the St Columba's site and a retirement community, Aquinas Court, opened on the old site. It was subsequently transferred to Catholic Healthcare in April 2006.
For further information or to get involved in any of our Ministry Groups, please contact the Pastoral Office.
Mother's Prayers is a worldwide group in 100 countries which was started by 2 mothers in England in 1995, who felt led by Jesus to start the group.
OurMother's Prayers group meets locally each fortnight and specifically pray for our children - we surrender our children to Jesus and put them in his care. From this has come many blessings worldwide.
It's a very warm and encouraging group of mothers/grandmothers who come together full of love and hope for their children. Groups usually consist of up to 8 ladies - we have a booklet to guide us and keep it simple.
PARISH PRIESTS: PAST & PRESENT
1935 - Rev Daniel Galvin
1946 - Rev Thomas Leen
1960 - Rev Canavan
1969 - Rev Leslie Bagot
1977 - Rev James O'Meara
1986 - Rev Michael McGloin
1996 - Rev Renato Paras
1999 - Rev Peter Connelly
Parish Priest - 1999 - 2011
Pastor Emeritus 2011 - 2013
2011 - Rev Paul Slyney
Current Parish Priest