School was out for summer
Bowling club will go into retreat
By Marilyn Rodrigues
The old Shrublands Bowling Club at Marrickville holds a lot of memories for friends Gladys (Glad) Belle and Connie Cook.
They were founding members of the club, which was established by the Passionist Fathers nearly 30 years ago.
Lately the club has fallen into disuse, though.
But now it is to be given a new lease of life as part of a major re-development of the Passionist monastery site.
In its second life it will be called St Brigid's Retreat.
The Passionist Fathers launched the re-development of their Marrickville residential and office site with a 'breaking the ground' ceremony.
The site, on Livingstone Rd behind St Brigid's Church, incorporates the former bowling club and green as well as St Brigid's Monastery.
When fully re-developed, it will house the administration offices for the Passionist province of the Holy Spirit, which incorporates Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, and will be the congregation's main residence as well.
It will eventually also include all the Passionists' archives, a small library and seminar area, gardens and two separate residential complexes.
The Passionists also hope to landscape the front of the monastery and church so that it is almost entirely garden.
St Brigid's Primary School will also re-develop its site so that it has a new entrance facing Marrickville Rd.
The religious congregation has been part of the Marrickville community for 115 years. The Passionists arrived there in 1887 and established their parish-based mission community.
They still care for the parish of St Brigid's, working from this community base to go out as missioners, school chaplains and preachers throughout Sydney and Australia.
"Today marks the beginning of the whole new futurefor the Passionists' community in Australia," says Fr Denis Travers, the Passionist provincial superior.
The Fathers hope all the work will be completed by the end of the year.