Our Lady Queen of Peace, St. Clement's and St. Gerard's


Grassy Park Parish - St. Clement's

 

In 1959 the plot in First Road, Grassy Park was bought.  An architect, Ugo Bergamasco was appointed to design the church of Our Lady Queen of Peace, this was approved by His Grace, Archbishop Owen McCann. On 23rd October 1961, the contractor, Eric Dundee, started building the church in First Road.  On 10th March1962, His Grace, Archbishop Owen McCann laid the foundation stone.  The murals on the walls at Our Lady Queen of Peace were done by Mr Wren Sargent.  This is a distinctive feature of the church building.  They depict the Nativity, the Flight into Egypt, The Miracle of the fishermen, the Miracle of the fish and the loaves and the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan.  The fine marble altar was donated by Monsieur & Madame Van der Stichelen, the Belgian Ambassador and his wife in South Africa at the time.  

The Stations of the Cross in the church was also done by Mr Wren Sargent.  The statue of the Sacred Heart in the church arrived from Germany.  The Archbishop blessed the church on Monday 25th June 1962 and it was formally opened the next day at 18h00. In 1963, the Parish priest moved into the new presbytery at First Road, Grassy Park.  In 1964 the first vernacular Holy Mass was celebrated and was well received by the parishioners.  In 1965, Fr George Christians CSsR arrived from Garsfontein and was appointed Parish priest..  In the same year three Holy Masses were celebrated at Our Lady Queen of Peace.  Fr Anderson CSsR became the assistant priest in that same year.  Grassy Park now had two priests. On 14th February 1988 three deacons were ordained for Our Lady Queen of Peace, namely Rev. Paul Adams, Rev Patrick Jacobs & Rev Victor West (passed away 3rdSeptember 1989). Rev. Piet Philander was ordained on 7th December 1997.

Many Redemptorists Fathers worked in the Grassy Park Parish hereafter.  These included Fr Kevin Dowling, Fr Anthony Pathe, Fr Peter Wilson and Fr John Smith.  Fr Kevin Dowling was responsible for many successful plays which he hosted and raised much needed money at the time.  Fr Kevin Dowling went on to become a Bishop of Rustenberg Diocese.  In March 1995, Fr Harding was the last Redemptorist parish priest in Grassy Park.  He moved out and handed the parish over to Fr Doran who was appointed by Archbishop Lawrence Henry until a permanent priest could be appointed.  In 1996 Fr Joseph Matthew arrived from India and he assisted Fr Augustine until he was moved to Hermanus Parish.  

Shortly after Fr Jose Plathottam arrived who assisted Fr Augustine as well, before he returned to India in 1997.  Fr Joseph Choutapalli was appointed assistant priest, he too was from India and was also from the order of the Heralds of the Good News.  Other Indian priests arrived, namely Fr John Malayil, Fr Ratna Raju, who worked in the Grassy Park area. In 1997 the house opposite the church was purchased as a presbytery for the priests. Towards the end of 1997, Deacon Peter Barnes resided at the presbytery and dealt with the day to day running until another priest was appointed.  

The Jesuit priests assisted with the Sunday Masses at the 3 churches, Our Lady Queen of Peace, St Gerhard’s and St Clement’s.  Fr Frank Whyte was then appointed as Parish Priest from 22nd February 1998.  Other assistant priests working with Fr Whyte were Fr Euguene Jackson, Fr Mark Foster, Fr Peter Ziegler, Fr Mailamani Suvakkin (Herald of the Good News from India) and Fr Paul Taylor.  In 2006 Fr Frank Whyte was appointed to Parow Valley parish. The Missionaries of Saint Francis de Sales arrived in Grassy Park parish with Fr Job Kaleekaparampil as parish priest, assisted by Fr Jacob Puthiyidathuchalil. Time marches on, our church is alive, active and strong in the spirit, singing praises to God.