St Patrick's Parish Guildford

Father Louis Breslan-RIP

           Born 15/03/1923         
           Died 17/10/2015

                Aged 92

    Parish Priest - St Patrick's

       Guildford  1975 -2009

Read notices and testamonials following death of Father Louis Breslan

~Eternal Rest grant to him O Lord and may perpetual light shine upon him.  May he rest in peace~

Our Profile and Our History


Parish Profile:


St Patrick's Parish is the centre of the spiritual, pastoral and sacramental life for the local Catholic community of Guildford in Western Sydney.


Guildford, located in the Holroyd City Council area, is home to more than 4,000 Catholics.  the Parish also enjoys strong ties with the wider Guildford community providing the presence of Christ for all in the local area.


Guildford is blessed with a rich and wide cultural diversity - of the 11,000 people who live in the suburb, 4,000 are of Lebanese heritage, while thousands more hail from backgrounds are diverse as Chinese, Croatia, English, Filpino, German, Indian, Irish, Italian, New Zealand, Scottish, Turkish and Vietnamese.


The diversity of the suburb is reflected within the congregation of St Patrick's Parish.


The Parish is also home to at least six Eastern Catholic Churches: Maronite, Melkite, Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara, Armenian and Chaldean.


St Patrick's Parish Guildford is part of the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta which was established in 1986.  Within the Diocese of Parramatta the Guildford Parish belongs to the Holroyd Deanery.  The Diocese of Parrmatta is home to around 333,000 Catholics it is one of the fastest growing areas of Western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


Our History

In 1909 it was announced that the Guildford Catholics had decided to build a church. The building was blessed by Bishop Kelly on 2 April 1910 and dedicated to St Patrick. Prior to this, Catholics of the Guildford area had to travel by horse and buggy, sulky, or foot to the parish of Holy Trinity, Granville, which had been established in 1882.


The new Sanctuary at St Patrick's

The new sanctuary built in 1979

In 1933, following official recognition of boundaries between Granville and Guildford, the Parish of St Patrick's Guildford was established. Father Thomas Harrington, a former curate of Holy Trinity Granville, was appointed Parish Priest.   A new church was blessed and opened on 8 August 1935. A new sacristy and sanctuary were added in 1979.

A small church/school, St Paul’s, was opened at Villawood in 1954 and became a station church to Guildford until 1986 when the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta was established. St Paul’s remained in Sydney Archdiocese and became part of Villawood Parish.

The Sisters of St. Joseph were in Guildford Parish from 1910 until 2008. They took up residence and began teaching the children of Guildford in 1910. The school building was used as a church on Sundays and their first convent was a rented cottage in Guildford Road. Over the years, the Sisters of St. Joseph remained a presence in Guildford, being involved wherever possible in parish events. 

In 1977, St Patrick’s Primary School was completed and blessed. Basketball and tennis courts were added in 1995. Completion of the extensions to the school and the blessing took place in December 2000. In 2010 the tennis courts made way for a School Hall built as part of the Labor Government's Digital Education Revolution.

Father Louis Joseph Breslan

Fr Breslan was ordained a priest in Ireland on 6 June 1948, aged 25.  He arrived in Sydney in March 1949 and was appointed to St Mary's Cathedral.  The first public mention of his ministry in Sydney was a wedding notice in the Cootamundra Herald of 4 July 1949. He had celebrated a wedding in St Mary's Cathedral between Phylliss O'Neil (Cootamundra) and Arthur Robberds (Bellevue Hill) on 29 May 1949 at 2:30pm. From the beginning to the end of his ministry as a priest, he was always conscious of the sacredness of his calling and the dignity of the priesthood. After serving  in the parishes of Thirroul, Lithgow and Manly he was


appointed a Naval Chaplin in 1955.  He was Chaplain aboard the aircraft carrier HMAS MELBOURNE at the time of her collision with the USS Evans.  Of this time Fr Breslan said 'It was an occasion I was interested to witness because it showed the traditional calibre of the servicemen's concern for his mates who included the US servicemen.' When he retired from the Navy in 1975, the Senior Chaplain, Mgsr Francis (Tiger Lyons') Lyons said in tribute about Fr Breslan, "He has won for himself a most enviable reputation as a man completely dedicated to his work, to whom no task was too difficult, to whom people of any denomination or none could turn for help in time of trouble and not be disappointed (Navy News February 28, 1975, p8).  He came to Guildford as Parish Priest in 1975.
I met Fr Breslan in 1980 when I was Assistant Priest at Parramatta, my first appointment.  I found myself on the Senate of Priests when Fr Breslan chaired for the Parramatta area.  We would meet in the old Parish Hall every few months.  Fr Breslan provided lunch and wise counsel in his soft but definite voice. I supplied for him on occasions when he was not well.  I was at Granville (1989, 1992-1999). As First Communion was coming up he gently asked me to include some encouragement  to the children on the Eucharist in my homily.  Weeks later he thanked me for my words.  At that point, I declared, in the company of a few clerics, that it must be true what the priests were saying about him: that he goes into the sacristy to listen to the visiting priest's homily over the loudspeaker to make sure everything he says is doctrinally sound.  Everybody laughed as Father was blushing and stumbling over himself to explain that was not his intention at all!
When he was forced to leave his beloved Guildford in 2008 due to ill-health and go to Rosary Village, it must have been a very difficult time for him, especially emotionally.  Yet, within a few weeks, he settled down there reasonably well. I knew he would be getting almost daily reports on what was happening in the parish. Whenever I visited him in the Village, he was always on for a chat. He never once made any kind of remark to me about how the parish was faring under its new leadership.  He must have been biting his tongue! I admired him greatly for this and his several wise comments about life, priesthood and the Lord. Even in ill-health and complete retirement, he still loved ministering to other residents, especially with his blessings and encouraging words.  Of the source and foundation of his love of God, he once said, referring to his family, 'We were strong in the faith and always prayed together as a family.  In the Rosary, there is the reflection of all the things that are God' (Catholic Outlook, November 2009).

Dear Father. May the angels lead you into paradise; may the martyrs come to welcome you and take you to the holy city, the new and eternal Jerusalem.

~ Father Peter Blayney PP ~

Video of Father Breslan's Funeral Mass

PARISH PRIESTS and Administrators

Rev Thomas Harrington 1933-1953

Rev Andrew Joseph Hickey 1954-1961

Rev Kevin Hay (Administrator) 1961

Rev Solomon 1961-1966

Rev Denis Ryan 1966-1967

Rev Thomas Berkery 1967-1975

Rev Louis Breslan 1975 – 2009

Rev Alan Layt (Administrator) 2008 – 2010

Rev Peter Blayney 2010 - present