The DDF was launched by the Most Reverend Francis Rush, Rockhampton’s seventh Bishop, in August 1963.
Two years of investigations culminated in the decision to launch the Fund. In Bishop Rush’s words:
“The plan proposed is a simple one. Catholics from every part of the Diocese will be asked to invest any surplus money they may have in the Diocesan Fund, which will provide the finance for all requirements of the Church throughout the whole of the Diocese. You are not being asked to give, but to invest. The investment is a safe one. It is safe as the good name of the Church in the Diocese of Rockhampton”.
Following a fire which tragically destroyed the Parish Church of West Bundaberg in July 1963, Bishop Rush announced at Sunday morning Masses some two days later that planning for a new church would commence immediately, knowing that the DDF was to be launched the following Sunday and could provide a loan for the new church. At the peak of its first year of operation, the DDF was entrusted with £454,793 in investments made by parishioners, parishes and Church organisations. This amount, along with a bank loan of £107,664, enabled the DDF to extend loans to parishes and other Church organisations exceeding £480,000.
Since these early days, the DDF has grown strongly and plays a vital part in sustaining the life and Mission of the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton.