Mareeba (population 10,182) is the largest town in the parish and other centres include Kuranda, Mt Molloy, Biboohra, Julatten, Mt Carbine and Koah. Traditionally the land of the Muluridji people, the parish today is the home to people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds with Italians, Croatians, Filipinos, Albanians, Spaniards and Aborigines all well represented.
Agriculture is the main industry with mangoes, sugar cane, avocados, lychees and coffee being among the most significant crops. The cattle industry and tourism are also important. (Photo: The annual procession of the Santo Nino in front of the church.)
The first Mass in the parish was celebrated in a store in Mareeba in 1886. The parish was formally established in 1911 by the Augustinian Order who still serve there. Today there are three Mass centres (Mareeba, Kuranda and Julatten). St Thomas's Parish Primary School has an enrolment of approximately 460 students. There are also religious education programmes in the state schools in the parish, adult catechumenate, social justice group and many other active groups and organisations. A feature of the parish is the Filipino, Italian, Aboriginal and international liturgies that are celebrated each year. Mareeba Parish has a Catholic primary school; St Thomas of Villanova Parish School catering for students from Prep to Year 7. St Stephen’s Catholic College opened in Mareeba in 2006 and caters for students from year 8 through to year 12, and now has over 390 students.
Since Easter 2001 the Augustinian priests of Mareeba has also held pastoral responsibility for the neighbouring Parish of St Anthony's, Dimbulah. It remains a separate parish from the Mareeba parish. St Anthony’s Parish School has an enrolment of approximately 77 students. A second church in the Dimbulah parish, St Joseph’s, is located at Mutchilba, with Mass celebrated there once a year on the Wednesday closest to the feast of St Joseph.
Monica Rizzetto-Lewis is the secretary of both parishes, Rita Petersen the principal of St Thomas's Parish School, Katrina Miller the principal of St Anthony's Parish School and Ida Pinese the principal of St Stephen’s Catholic College.
Sunday Mass times:
Mareeba: Vigil 6.00 pm & Sunday 10.00 amDimbulah: Sunday 8.00 am Kuranda: Sunday 6.00 pm Julatten Home Mass: Saturday 9.00 am (Sunday Mass)
PO Box 308 (57 Constance St) Mareeba QLD 4880 Telephone: (07) 4092 1077 Fax: (07) 4092 3170