The 12th of January 1968 marked the beginning of the history of Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Sydney, Australia. On this day, Monsignor Peter Amin Ziade returned from Lebanon with the intention of building a Church with a presbytery, school and hall in Parramatta. After searching for a suitable property, the Church Committee successfully located a piece of land with a beautiful elevated view in Harris Park.
Once the construction of the Church had begun in 1970, it established an overwhelming sense of enthusiasm in the hearts of many Maronite people. On Palm Sunday, the 22nd of March 1970, more than 10,000 Maronites gathered on the site of the Church to welcome Cardinal Gilroy and to acclaim him with palms, olive branches and candles. It was on this day that Mgr Ziade and the Cardinal blessed and laid the foundation stone.
On the 10th of December 1972, Our Lady of Lebanon’s hall and school was blessed and officially opened. From December 1972 until 1978, the hall was used as a Church while the development of the Church complex continued. On August 6th 1978, the Church was officially opened and blessed by Archbishop Abdo Khalifé.
The famous blue and white statue that was approximately 7 meters high was raised at 11:20am on April 28, 1976. However, due to continued objections from neighbours and the council about its size and appearance, it was replaced in 1980. The current bronze statue, which is approximately 5 meters high, continues to stand at the top of the Church.
On the 6th of March 2012, The Community, Youth and Pastoral Centre was blessed and opened by Rev AD Abikaram, the Maronite Bishop of Australia, and Barry O’Farrell. The Centre is open to serve the needs of all generations of the Maronite and wider community.
On the 11th of October 2014, the Church officially elevated its status to a co-cathedral in the presence of Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Apostolic Nuncio to Australia.
Our Lady of Lebanon is the largest Maronite Catholic Parish in Australia. In the last 40 years, the Maronite population has tripled, from 10,000 to 30,000 people. With over 18 Committees and Groups.
Our Lady of Lebanon Church remains an active parish that encourages the growth of the Maronite Community by continuing to serve the needs of all generations.