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Parish History

Our Foundations:
The Parish of St John Bosco, Engadine was established in 1947 with Fr Dunlea, the Founder of Boys' Town, as its first parish priest In 1952 it was entrusted by the Archdiocese of Sydney to the care of the Salesians and nowadays it includes Waterfall, Heathcote, Engadine, Yarrawarrah and Woronora Heights.

The parish and its church are respectively under the protection and dedicated to St John Bosco, the founder of the Salesian Brothers, Sisters and Priests.
After the war, Engadine's population started to increase gradually with crown land being designated for residential development and some young couples deciding to begin their married life in affordable circumstances did so in Engadine. For most of the first decade of the parish's life, Mass was celebrated in the George Nathan Hall on the site of present-day Bosco College and from the mid-1950's until the completion of the shrine of St. John Bosco in 1967, the main Mass Centre was Boys Town Chapel. Mass was also celebrated regularly at Heathcote in the old Church.

In the 1960s the population began to increase quite rapidly and Fr Ciantar's vision of a great monument to St John Bosco in Engadine showed great faith and foresight as the surrounding districts continued to increase in population. The development of Engadine and Heathcote was followed by the development of the Yarrawarrah area in the 1970s and Woronora Heights in the 1980s. New housing development continues to the present time and a rejuvenation of the older areas of Engadine is now underway.

In the 2001 census, the total population of the Engadine district stood at 29,023. In Sydney there are approximately 30% who are Catholic so carrying those figures into the local area, there are approximately 9000 Catholics, at least nominal in the parish. Since the last census of 1996 the total population in the Sutherland Shire has risen by 5%. and this includes young families so the immediate future looks promising for our schools. A vast majority of people who live in this area are from an Anglo-Saxon background, predominantly English and Irish. The latest census showed that 85% of people in the Sutherland Shire were Australian born and English was stated as the only language spoken at home by 88% of the population.