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St Francis of Assisi Dunedin Trust

St Patrick's (Established 1888)

32 Macandrew Road
South Dunedin

Ph: 03 455 8933

Click here for the

St Patrick's Redevelpoment


A tour of St Patrick’s Basilica

St Patrick’s Basilica was opened in 1894. It was designed by Mr F. W. Petre. The original plan included a central dome and a colonnaded porch which were never completed because of the costs involved. The term basilica refers to both the architectural style and the importance of the church in the diocese. St Patrick’s is in the classic style of a Roman basilica. The building is constructed of brick which is now plastered, with concrete foundations.

A new porch designed by the architect Mr E. J. McCoy was added in the 1960’s has two external panels, in Japanese oak, carved by John Middleditch. They show St Patrick and the Blessed Virgin.

Inside the basilica there are a number of items of religious art and icons. The large oil painting behind the main altar was painted by an Italian artist, Guiseppi Brazi, and was set in place in 1915. It shows St Patrick and St Bridget in an Irish setting gazing up to heaven where Mary and her infant son, Jesus, are looking down at the earth with love. The altar under the painting was formerly used for the celebration of the Mass. With changes to the liturgy, a different style of altar was needed so the present wooden altar and lectern were made by Mr Gavin Bourke from some of the kauri pews that were removed when pews at the front of the church were replaced with softer seating.


The statue of St Patrick now placed at the back of the church came originally from the Cathedral in Rattray Street and was given by Bishop Moran to the basilica to mark its opening in 1894.

There are 14 lead-lighted stained glass windows which were added to the church in 1924. They were made in Munich, Germany. They depict 14 of the Mysteries of the Rosary. Each window is dedicated as a memorial for those who donated the costs.

The Stations of the Cross were made in Paris in 1901. They are made of terracotta and framed in oak. This way of the cross shows the story of the passion and death of Jesus. Again, those who donated the costs are recorded on each station.

The statues at the front of the church depict Jesus (the Sacred Heart) and Joseph with the child Jesus. They were placed in the basilica in the early twentieth century. In 1926 another statue was added, of St Teresa, known as the Little Flower. It marked St Teresa’s elevation to sainthood in 1925.

Opposite St Teresa is a large crucifix with the figure of Christ, carved in Carrara Italian marble. It was commissioned in Rome in 1924 and when it arrived in Dunedin, the wooden cross was made locally before the crucifix was erected in the basilica.

On the right side at the front of the church is Mary’s altar, carved in oak. It was built in Mr J. J. Marlow’s factory in South Dunedin in 1924. As well as the statue, the altar features an iconic picture of Mary as the Mother of Perpetual Succour.

At the front of the Church is the Baptismal font. It is used in the ceremony of receiving people into the Church.



The Saint Patrick's Site is to be redeveloped so as to become the centre for the Dunedin South Pastoral Area. There are three components to the redevelopment. 1. Redevelop the old school buildings to become the centre for Catholic Social Services and to create a multi-purpose Community centre which will include a children's playground. 2. Creating a park in the midst of an Industrial Area. We are applying to demolish the present presbytery so as to create community green space. 3. Renovating the Basilica which includes establishing a new entrance and a connection into the Mercy Chapel. We aim to create a prayerful place; a welcoming place of gathering, suitable for modern worship. Below is an aerial map of the Site with the key buildings highlighted followed by a concept plan of the development:






St Alphonsus Parish St Bernadette's Parish St Brigid's Parish St Patick's Parish