St Francis' Church is the oldest Catholic church in Victoria, Australia. Located on the corner of Lonsdale Street and Elizabeth Street, it is one of only three buildings in central Melbourne which predates the Gold Rush of 1851. The church's foundation stone was laid on 4 October 1841, the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, to whom the church is dedicated.
It was commissioned by Fr Patrick Geoghegan, the first Catholic priest in the Port Phillip District of New South Wales, which became Victoria in 1851. In 1848, St Francis' became the cathedral church of the first Catholic Bishop of Melbourne, James Goold, and continued as a cathedral until 1868, when the diocesan seat was moved to the still unfinished St Patrick's Cathedral (which was not formally consecrated until 1897).
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