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The Church of St Francis Xavier in Upper Gardiner Street was one of the first churches to be built in Dublin after Catholic Emancipation (Catholic Relief Act) in 1829. The Jesuits had a small church in Hardwicke St (1816), and with the building of the St Francis Xavier's, turned the Hardwicke St property into a school, later to be named Belvedere College SJ.
In 1 July 1829, the first stone was laid at Upper Gardiner Street by Fr Charles Aylmer SJ (1786-1847), and the first Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Murray on 2 May 1832. The church cost £18,000 to build and was designed by Fr Bartholomew Esmonde SJ (1789-1862) and John B Keane (died 1859).
Those associated with the church include Matt Talbot and John Henry Cardinal Newman. Gardiner Street Church is also the resting place of Blessed John Sullivan SJ.
In 1974, Gardiner Street Parish was established by Archbishop Dermot Ryan.
Other Jesuit associations in the parish include: Belvedere College SJ, Young Adult Ministry, Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, The Peter McVerry Trust, St Joseph's Penny Dinners, Polish Ministry, Jesuit Refugee Service, and the Irish Jesuit Mission Office.