The Prospect Heritage Trust Inc.


Fr P A Holland


© Prospect Heritage Trust Inc.

Father Patrick Augustine Holland (1859 - 1923) was born at Dunmanway, Cork, Ireland on 29 September, 1859. He was received into the Franciscan Order on 17 February, 1878, studied for the priesthood at Isidore’s College, Rome, was solemnly professed on 26 February, 1882 and ordained to the priesthood in Rome on 8 April, 1882.


Father Holland arrived in Sydney in 1883, having been sent to Australia by the Irish Franciscan Province. He first served at Paddington and Woollahra, until in 1885 Cardinal Moran appointed him as Parish Priest of Prospect.   He also took charge of St Michael’s, Baulkham Hills and St Gertrude’s, Smithfield as well as the iron Catholic Mission Church at the Reservoir. This church was also known as The Waterworks Church, and had been built by Archdeacon Rigney while he was Parish Priest of Parramatta. Father Holland would have been very busy,  as  at this time the Prospect Reservoir was under construction, with at times, 1500 men and their families living on the site. The camp had its own butcher, baker, blacksmith, dressmakers, tent-makers, tinkers and tailors, boarding houses, two temperance lodges, a post office, a school and an Anglican Church as well as the Catholic Mission Church.


In 1888 Father Holland was transferred to Liverpool. He continued working in Sydney Archdiocese for another 34 years. When he died on 16 October, 1923, he was the Parish Priest at Tempe.


Source: ‘Faith of our fathers, living still’, Pamela Tromp