Planning for a Roman Catholic Church to be erected in Yarra Glen began about 1888 and Mr Charles Fletcher won the tender to erect a timber and iron building. The Archbishop of Melbourne, Reverend Dr Carr made a special visit to formally open the building on Sunday 19 July 1890. He was the guest of Paul de Castella of Yering on Saturday night. After the Sunday morning ceremony at Yarra Glen he travelled on to St Brigids at Healesville.

In 1888 the de Castella family had tragically lost their son Rudolph, aged 29. He died after falling from his horse while suffering an epileptic fit. The family purchased a set of Stations of the Cross during a visit to Florence and presented them to the new Church in memory of their son. The ceremony to dedicate the memorial was conducted in September 1891. Mrs de Castella also presented a large brass lamp, obtained in Rome, that hung on long brass chains in the sanctuary. Other prominent Catholic families included Petty, Ryan, Kennedy, Fletcher, Gibson (Chateau Yering), Wilson (Christmas Hills) and Papworth. The Catholics were a minority in a small community that was predominantly Protestant.

From October 1889 Yarra Glen was served by a parish priest based at Lilydale. Ten years later a new parish was established at Healesville and its boundaries included Yarra Glen. The Reverend Patrick Gleeson, an Irishman, was the first pastor followed by another Irishman Father Gerald Byrne in 1905, and then an Australian born priest Father Henry Bakker in 1910. These men celebrated Mass in Yarra Glen whenever time permitted.

From 1919 to 1927 Father Kennedy took charge and travelled from Healesville to Yarra Glen on the train on Fridays, commencing the service at 8am. Although the congregation was small the Friday service affected other aspects of town life. The Head Master of the primary school and his family attended Mass so the school did not open until 10am on that day. Miss Marie (May) Petty (1866-1952) walked down from Symons Street after locking up the Post Office to prepare the Church for services. She also conducted the Sunday School for many years.

Father Coyne replaced Kennedy in 1927 and continued until 1941. He took over the instruction of the children from Miss Petty and made an extra trip to Yarra Glen on Saturdays for this purpose. He was followed by Father Murphy. As the population grew so did the demand for Sunday Mass. Arrangements were made for young priests from Watsonia to travel to Yarra Glen, usually staying overnight on Saturday to say Mass on Sunday morning. These included Fr Dobson, Fr Christopher, and Fr Ryan who were Franciscans from La Verna, and Fr Burke and Fr OBrien, Jesuits from Watsonia. It is said that the latter often walked from Watsonia to Yarra Glen and, after Mass and breakfast, would be driven home in a car by one of the parishioners.

In 1954 the Cistercians at Tarrawarra Abbey were asked to provide a priest to conduct Mass and Confessions at St Aloysius. A parishioner Jack Murphy would call in his car for the priest. The services at this time were held at 9am.

Fund raising functions were necessary in such a small congregation. A successful concert was held in the Victoria Hall on 8 February 1900. A more ambitious series of events was undertaken on 5 May 1911 when a carnival was held at the Yarra Glen racecourse. After the race meeting a concert and Ball were held in the Hall.

Pine trees were planted in the early years and when fully grown surrounded the Church. These trees were removed in the 1990s when the building was re-stumped, the front porch enlarged, a meeting room added, and a car park was laid out.

On July 24 2005 the congregation of St Aloysius celebrated the 115th anniversary of the building. Unfortunately the de Castellas Stations of the Cross had succumbed to the effects of moisture and silver fish and were removed a few years ago. But the fabric of the building remains strong and members of the church community spent many hours renovating and painting in preparation for the anniversary.

The renovations were completed in 2009 but this coincided with the transfer of the priest to another parish and regular services have not been held since then.

Source: YG&DHS Newsletter no.17, August 2005