What was changed?

The way the Church was in 1989. You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

The fire of 1989

Below we highlight all the unnecessary changes that were made so that you know what must be restored. Click on the photos to make them larger.

A Before and After. Below is as it appears today.

All that remains from the original Sanctuary is the Tabernacle.

It is more like a hall now than a church where people sit facing each other instead of the tabernacle which is off to the side, out of site out of mind.

More photos inside St Joseph’s today

Sign the Petition for Restoration

It’s not all about the building


14 thoughts on “What was changed?”

  1. That Hat Lady said:

    Well, at least they put the stations of the cross back on the walls. What’s up with those screens? Is that TV or sound system?

    • Your right but what I don’t understand why they changed so much and left the very old stations behind? They look like television screens to me. But what is the object in the front with the shiny floor?

      • That is what is called a perpetual running baptismal font How can you Bless running water? Well at St Joseph’s these days anything is possible. But Not Catholic.

        • This thing must have cost a fortune. It’s a pity they didn’t spend any money on the confessional, but I guess they would see it as a waste if no-one is going anyway.

  2. What a sad story. It is like a parable of what has happened to our beloved Catholic Church., also for no good reason and without consulting the Faithful.

  3. The priests were forced to leave the beautiful Stations on the wall after pressure was brought to bear by parishioners. The fact that they were painted by one of the FCJ nuns who ran the school gave their argument the emotional impetus needed to save them. It was about the only thing they managed to salvage. (The skill of the firemen saved the magnificent stained glass window.) As the author of DCP says on p.198 upon seeing the “reordered” church during the first public viewing: “The only signs of the Catholic religion in this big empty barn were the Stations of the Cross and the stained glass window behind the sanctuary, both of which stood in contradiction to the newchurch symbolism that surrounded them. … The priests had achieved their dream. It truly was a super-deluxe parish hall.” And it remains one to this day, albeit even more profane and bizarre.

    As for the TV screens, I believe they’ve been used, among other things, to play footage or photos of the deceased at requiems, to entertain the punters before newchurch proceedings begin.

    • It is so strange to think that priests would actually go out of their way to distress people so much with all they changed. I thought their job was to imitate Jesus and bring all people to him so that they may be saved from their sins. These priest seemed hell bent on the opposite and were then quite happy with the resulting loss of faith. This was the devils work. Not that of Jesus.

  4. Don’t have much to say on the changes, but the pews in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu (my diocese) have been that way since it was made as far as I know. Which is way back when.

  5. How discusting are the comments left from the work of such beloved Priests. I for one GAINED my faith through their love and genousity. I was only a child when the church had its great fire. I saw it in the transition, the before and after pictures do not represent accurately the eventual change that progressed over the time to todays beauty. Where are the inbetween photos? The photos of what it was like when they were actually there? Where are the pictures that show the main alter along the left side wall? Where all the pews were made to feel you were at a gathering of devoted? The set up was as such when they gave me my first Holy Communion and had my Confirmation. I have lived in Benalla all my life and what is shown today is not all from their time. Seriously, are you all so gullible to believe that the plasma screen TVs were introduced after the fire back in 1989? Besides that, they were used mainly for displaying words for the days prayer songs. And before anyone goes off half cocked about it not being a karaoke bar, think about the poor sighted people that cant read the tiny printed words in the prayer books. Having the large displays allows them to join in the rejoicing too. My only good childhood memories come from the loving work from Father Bob, Father Des and Father Byrne. And I know that I was a poorer person when the were eventually forced out of the church. Today is the day of Father Bobs funeral. Show some respect for a man that I know, not only saved my soul, but saved my life.

  6. Mary Ellen Becker said:

    To those who defend this change to a Catholic House of God, wake up. God wants to be worshipped in the manner that He came to earth to teach us. How can anyone dare change what He has given to us.
    The faithful are not responsible for the innovations in the church. The clergy has made all of the changes, discounting those who have preserved and adhered to the divine revelation for 2000 years.
    Vat II decided they knew better. They changed the Mass and all of the Sacraments that were instituted by Christ. Those clergy who carried out these changes, and the clergy who went along with them will have to stand before God to account for this and explain why they robbed so many souls of their means of salvation. In the mean time they continue to decimate our Church.
    But the faithful are just as much the church as the clergy. Don’t be afraid to take back your church and fix it, according to tradition.

  7. Comment on the site of “the Death of a Catholic parish” by Michael McGrade
    Paul VI said that the smoke of Satan had entered the Church and thus even today, December 2013.
    I visited St Joseph’s and apart from the beautiful exterior I despaired for the parishioners and the poor priests. The latter and their generation of priests have been poorly trained on the whole, in liturgy and apologetics. Please pray for those priests – even if they are no longer canonical.
    Likewise our new Pope needs prayers. A Pope that is popular with the world is in real trouble.

  8. I live in the state of Montana on the other side of the world and “just happened” onto your site from fisheaters…and see there are no more comments for almost a year now…yes, it is very tragic what they did to your beautiful cathedral, this has also happened in the USA. I do not understand what people have been thinking…I read somewhere that with the “Vatican II” no one told us to tear up our churches, is that true or is it not…I was a teenage convert (when ladies heads were still covered) from Methodism and now a “revert” having ventured to the Navigators, Baptists. What I most miss is the sanctity and reverence before, during and after the mass at most churches, even chit-chatting during the consecration, if you can believe that. People wear most anything, not as if they were going before Almighty God. I am no saint, but sometimes I just cry. I feel your pain and of course so do the Holy Trinity, Virgin Mary, the Saints and all of Heaven. We have found one priest who is trying, and he is actually a married convert, with children, who received a special dispensation from the Pope, who still allows adoration, prayers to Virgin Mary, private confessions, recites the confession prayer at the beginning of mass (I confess to Almighty God), allows veiling, even bought a kneeler for those who still want to kneel to take communion, dresses appropriately for a priest. I’m sure he is not perfect, but at least he is reverent during mass and expects us to also be. There is still too much noise, but he has not been there long…and it is mostly young children and not adults chatting. Thanks for listening. I will pray for your spiritual healing and please pray also for us in the states. In my humble opinion, here our priorities are all wrong and I must apologize for it. I am very sincerely sorry.

  9. I do understand the feelings of those who have grown up knowing and loving a particular style of church, encouraging to those who want to feel connected to God, the Virgin Mary and the saints. My first memory of a church was of the converted Quonset hut used for many years while the little primary school was built next door and filled up with children. When the new church was built about 1968 it caused a great deal of angst- a modern, stark, white building with no windows, just big coloured banners behind the altar, very sparse in decoration, but with modern confessionals and a “crying room” at the back. No doubt many people longed for the Quonset hut! I imagine that when the time comes for this “new” building to make way for another, similar feelings will be aroused.

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