The Kingsley-Woodvale parish was founded in February 1987. Sr. Joan Smith, a Sister of Mercy from Perth was requested by the Archbishop to be present at the Parish House with the object of forming a “loose kind of community”. Sr Joan was at this house for 12 months, getting to know people and gathering them together. She did a good “ground-work” for this parish. During this time, a few Masses were celebrated during the year at various parishioners’ homes. A week prior to Fr Nicholas McSweeney, the First Parish Priest, arriving in the Parish, a gathering took place at the home of Patsy and Bob Colan.
Fr. Nicholas (Nick), originally from Mullinavat, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland arrived in Perth in 1957 soon after his Ordination. He served at Victoria Park, Maylands, Boulder-Kalgoorlie, Subiaco and Maddington until his appointment in 1971 as Director of Catholic Missions and Migration. While still in this position, he founded the Parish of Our Lady of the Missions at Whitfords. After having served Whitfords Parish for 11 years, he became the First Parish Priest of Woodvale and moved in on 20th February, 1987 at 29 Duffy Terrace. He celebrated the first Mass on Saturday, 28th February 1987 at 7.00pm followed by a Mass on Sunday, 1st of March at 9.30am at the Woodvale High School. There were approximately 100 families then.
Ethnic Composition: The majority of parishioners were Australians, with Anglo-Celtic background and also a good representation of Asians.
Parish Boundaries: On the North – Ocean Reef Rd; On the South – Hepburn Ave; On the West – Mitchell Freeway and on the East – Lakes.
Shortly after the Parish was instituted, an Interim School Board was formed with Fr Nicholas (PP), Sr. Mary O’Connor, RSM (Principal), R Lambert (CEO), M Pinner (Chairman), W Gallos, G Hawkins, M Farrell (Secretary), B Alfirevich (CEO), J Seman, K Tutt & T Ratcliffe (Treasurer). In November 1988, Fr Nick led the parishioners through a series of selection and voting procedure to establish a name for the parish. St. Luke’s was the choice of the majority and this was ratified by Archbishop Foley in December 1988.
Unfortunately, Fr Nick died, with his boots on, after suffering a massive heart attack on Feb. 2, 1991 while getting ready for a Sunday Mass. He was only 58 years old.
The next Parish Priest was Fr Laurence Murphy, a Salvatorian Priest, also an Irishman like his predecessor. He came to Woodvale parish in June 1991 and in all earnest, took up the task of building the Community as well as the actual Church building. The new Church finished during the tenure of Fr Laurence was consecrated by Archbishop B.J.Hickey on April 2, 1995.
Fr Pat C. Turner, of revered memory, followed Fr. Murphy as the next Parish Priest in April 2001 and continued till April 2007.
The next Parish Priest, Fr Trevor Simons, took over in May 2007. Unfortunately, due to his ill-health, Fr Trevor, much loved by the parishioners, was forced to resign in October 2011.
Fr Francisco Mascarenhas took over the role from from January 2012 until December 2018 and during his tenure the air conditioning, columbarium, statue of St Luke and upgrade of the audiovisual system occurred.
Fr Stephen Jean Paul Victor OSM, took over the role in January 2019 following Fr Francisco’s resignation after his treatment for and recovery from cancer. Fr Stephen celebrated his last Mass in the Parish on 17 May 2023.
Our current Parish Priest Fr Stan Bendkowski SDS took over on 12 June 2023.