Perhaps the first public record of a Catholic community in Torquay comes in the Mass Times advertised in the Advocate of 1938 - under 'Holiday Places Geelong'. At that time Mass was celebrated in the Torquay Improvement Association Hall, by the priests of St Bernard's Parish Belmont. There has definitely been an established Catholic community in Torquay since the mid 1950s, as records show the existence of a Ladies Committee around that time. Largely comprising early immigrants, many of whom had come from Holland, this dedicated group was to become the driving force for the building of a church in Torquay, In 1958 land was purchased, and the first Mass in St Therese Church was celebrated on July 26, 1959.
Over the ensuing years, the community has obviously grown. Part of its development has been due to the 'seachange' people (those who holidayed year after year in Torquay) settling here in retirement. The church continued to serve the parishioners well, even catering for the holiday influx that occurred every Christmas and Easter.
In 1980, Fr Bill Gill was installed as the first Parish Priest of the newly formed Nazareth Parish, which took in both Torquay and Grovedale, and our community gathered more strongly, and developed deeper relationships both within itself, and between the two areas of the parish as well as within the local community.
In 1986, St Therese Primary School opened and this was greeted with great joy as children no longer needed to be bussed up to Grovedale each day.
In 2010, in the 50th Anniversary Year of the First Mass, the completely revitalised St Therese Church was blessed and reopened - a project of mammoth proportions which has been more about building community and providing for the needs of the Parish, than simply being about the rejuvenation of a tired building. This church in its more modern form reaches out to all and provides innumerable ways to be church in the future, on any and every day of the week.