Father John Francis O’Toole

Father John Francis O’Toole was born in 1908, the fifth of Joseph and Mary Therese’s twelve children. He was baptised in St Bede’s and went to school there before moving on to St Mary’s High School and (in 1925) the Springwoood Novitiate where he prepared for the priesthood.

In 1930 he was the first – and so far the only – Pyrmont boy to be ordained. He served in Sydney parishes, including St Therese’s Church, Lakemba where he solemnised the marriage of his younger brother Phillip and Olga O’Toole, in 1932. In 1935 he was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and endured three operations and much pain before he died in 1938.


  • C.F. Fowler, 150 Years on Pyrmont Peninsula: the Catholic Community of Saint Bede 1867-2017
  • O’Toole family archive, courtesy of Mrs Pat Mulligan