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Talk of sale of historic Sydney Catholic property

The Society of St Vincent de Paul this week began a review of the use of its NSW/ACT State headquarters, the historic Lewisham Hospital, a prime piece of real estate in Sydney's inner west.

State President of the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW / ACT, Mr John O'Neill today refuted rumors that the Society had decided to sell its Lewisham site which is the home of its State administration and a number of its Special Works.

The so-called "Vinnies Vatican" has strong Catholic connections and atmosphere, and was used by ABC TV to film the series Brides of Christ. The site last changed hands in 1988, when the Little Company of Mary congregation sold it for $8 million to the St Vincent de Paul Society.

Online Catholics reported yesterday that one major Sydney developer has already been approached to test market reaction to the possible sale of all or part of Ozanam Village which is named after the Society's founder, Frederic Ozanam.

Mr O'Neill said suggestions that there has already been a decision to sell are misinformed.

"The NSW / ACT State Council has established a task force to investigate options for the site," he said. "Of great concern to the Society is the future cost of maintenance and heritage requirements of a number of the buildings on the Lewisham site."

Mr O'Neill added that it would be "imprudent" of the Society's Trustees not to plan for the future by giving due consideration to how it manages its plant and equipment."

Media Release (St Vincent de Paul Society 23/9/04)
Will the 'Vinnies Vatican' at Lewisham be sold? (Online Catholics 22/9/04)

St Vincent de Paul Society NSW/ACT
Brides of Christ (ABC Shop)
Brides of Christ

23 Sep 2004