Our Lady of Good Counsel, Deepdene


The parishes of Kew, Camberwell and Hawthorn were established in 1889. At the time, the area which the Deepdene Parish encompassed was part of the parishes of Camberwell and Kew.

In 1919, a local Catholic, Stanislaus Day, wrote to the then Archbishop of Melbourne, Dr Daniel Mannix DD, to ask if a ‘small church should be built… for the elderly people and maids at service’.  His letter reasoned that there was a population of Catholics who lived on the boundary of the Parishes of Hawthorn, Kew and Camberwell, but they were ‘about two miles from each church’.  Read more…

Church Construction and Architecture

The construction of the current church began in the 1950s, when Fr Godwin was the Parish Priest. It was completed in 1955. The long narrow shape of the church was dictated by the land that was available between the presbytery and the school. The architect was Mr L Sam Miguel and the builder was Simmie & Co. The church was officially opened and blessed by the Archbishop of Melbourne, Dr Daniel Mannix DD, on 3 July 1959.

Church Refurbishment

The Church has undergone several refurbishments over the years, the most recent being to the internal structure throughout 2016 and 2017.  With Law Architects design completed, Ireland Brown Constructions began work at the Deepdene site on 11 January, 2016. The building works included the addition of a gathering space adjoining the church and refurbishment of the church and Our Lady of Good Counsel School.

Church Layout

The new internal layout respects the original architecture of the building and reflects current liturgical norms and celebrations. There is now increased internal and external areas for parishioners and visitors ‘to gather and connect, to sit and talk, to reflect, to celebrate, to be, and to see the Church as a space of welcome’. (Fr Brendan Reed)

Gathering Space

The Gathering Space is filled with natural light and is linked to the Church via a panel of ceiling glass.

The building was constructed with maximum use of glass and a beautifully designed timber panel ceiling, preparing the visitor for the experience of the copper ceiling tiles on the interior of the church.

Deepdene, The Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel

This beautiful book has been prepared by Rosemary Crumlin with photographs by Chris Kapa. The book gives insights into the refurbished Deepdene Church and explanations of all the liturgical designs, their construction and installation. The book itself is a piece of art.

Please contact the Parish Office if you would like to purchase a copy of this publication.

Patron Saint

Over the centuries, devotions to Our Lady of Good Counsel grew among saints, popes and Catholics worldwide, and many institutions were named in honour of Mary under the title of Our Lady of Good Counsel. Pope Pius V, for example, credited victory in the Battle of Lepanto (1569) to her intercession.

In 1884, a special Mass and Office of the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel was approved by Pope Leo XIII.  Later, Pope Pius XII dedicated his term of office (1939–1958) to Our Lady of Good Counsel, and Pope John XXIII visited her shrine to pray for the success of the Second Vatican Council. Our Lady of Good Counsel’s feast day is 26 April.

Parish School

Our Lady of Good Counsel School was officially opened on 29 January, 1924 and was staffed by the Sisters of the Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ), with Mother Evangeline as Principal.  The enrolment for that year was 62 pupils. Read more…

Today, the parish primary school of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Deepdene is a vibrant learning environment and community for students and their families.  The school’s website provides further information about this welcoming community.

Parish Priests at Our Lady of Good Counsel

1922 – 1938Fr J B Walsh
1938 – 1947Fr Denis P Murphy
1948 – 1965Fr Lawrence Godwin
1966 – 1967Bishop Arthur Fox,
assisted by Fr C McCann
1968 – 1985Monsignor John Kelly
1985 – 2001Fr Pat Duggan
2001 – 2006Fr Maurie Cooney
2006 – continuingFr Brendan Reed (Parish of Balwyn Deepdene in 2013)