It is expected that the new size arrives in Melbourne in December and will be installed in the altarpiece that presides over the presbytery.
The Catholic Church St Mary of the Sea is one of the most beautiful and significant Catholic churches in Melbourne and the largest in Australia. It was built in 1854with a capacity for 1,200 people. At first, it was a modest church, erected in just six months, cruciform in plan and made of stone. Built near the port of Melbourne, it is dedicated to the patron saint of sailors.
The Victorian gold rush caused a population explosion that contributed to the rapid growth of the Catholic community and with it the need to expand the church. In 1871, a new transept was added to accommodate an additional 500 worshippers. Two years later, in 1873, it became a parish church.
Over the years, the church grew, but the need for a major renovation soon became imperative. In 2002, Rev. Joseph Martins launched a $10 million restoration project, which is still underway. This project has allowed St. Mary of the Sea to become one of the most beautiful and significant churches not just Melbourne, but Australia as a whole.