Monastery priests prayer to avert fire

03 Dec 2008

By The Record

"We offer grateful thanks to the Lord and his mother for the preservation of the monastery,” says Priest.                     

Averted: Police and fire crew attend the fire that broke out at the Redemptorist Monastery on Thursday November 27. No-one was injured and the fire was extinguished shortly after. The building is one of the historic centres of Catholic life in Western Robert Hiini






























By Peter Rosengren
After fire broke out in an upstairs room, priests of the North Perth Redemptorist Monastery gathered outside their historic Vincent Street building to pray the Rosary for the safety of community members and for the protection of their historic building on Thursday morning, November 27.
The fact that the building had not burned down was due to God answering their prayers and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Redemptorist priest Fr Joe Carroll CSsR, told The Record.
Fr Carroll said six priests were in the building or close by when the fire was noticed at about 9.30am but all were quickly evacuated to outside the front of the building, where they began praying the Rosary for the safety of all and that the building would be preserved.
Fire authorities were on the scene shortly afterwards and blocked off surrounding streets, however the fire was quickly brought under control and extinguished; only one room was damaged.
Fire crews declared the building safe by about 10.30am and Mass was able to be celebrated as usual by 11 that morning, Fr Carroll told The Record.
He said the Redemptorists are now awaiting confirmation by an engineer that no structural damage had occurred.
“We offer grateful thanks to the Lord and his Mother for the preservation of the Monastery and that the fire didn’t spread,” he told the paper.
“We also want to thank all the people for their support and prayers.” Services would continue at the Monastery as usual, he told The Record.
The North Perth Redemptorist Monastery has been a major focus of Catholic life in Perth since the early years of the Twentieth Century and is well-known as a centre for retreats, the popular Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help (see story on Page 6) , the regular availability of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and its Redemptorist community.
Had the fire taken hold, the loss of the monastery – officially known as the Church of Saints Peter and Paul and which is  one of the historic churches of Western Australia – would have been a major blow to the Church in Perth.