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VIRTUAL LIBRARY

SIGNIFICANT PIONEERS

THE ARCHIVES

PREVIOUS BISHOPS

HISTORY OF OUR ARCHDIOCESE The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney exists to serve the People of God in the city of Sydney, including the Eastern, Southern, inner-Western and South-Western and the lower-North Shore.

James Darcy Cardinal Freeman KBE was made a Knight
Commander of the British Empire in 1977.

From the First Fleet to the 21st Century

The Sydney Archdiocese has its beginnings with the arrival of the First Fleet in Botany Bay. This history, that spans almost 240 years, has been shaped by many people from different cultures. Check out our history and the people who made the Archdiocese what it is today!

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Slide 1st Archbishop of Sydney (1842-1877) John Bede Polding Born on 18 Nov 1794, Liverpool in England in the parish of Liverpool. (Liverpool Diocese) He was educated at Benedictine Convent Woolton, and Much (now Stanbrook, near Liverpool); Downside, and attended Seminary at Downside Abbey. He was ordained on 04 Mar 1819, Old Hall College by Bishop Poynter and incardinated in the Benedictines. He was elected as Bishop on 12 May 1834 as Titular Bishop of Hiero-Caesarea. FIND OUT MORE Slide 2nd Archbishop of Sydney (2001-2014) Roger Bede Vaughan Born on 9 Jan 1834, Courtfield in Herefordshire England in the parish of Courtfield. (Newport & Menevia Diocese) His father was John Francis Vaughan and his mother was Elizabeth Louise Rolls. He was educated at Private Boarding School, Monmouth; Tuition at home because of ill-health; Benedictine School of St Gregory Downside, and attended Seminary at Downside Abbey; Rome. He was ordained on 9 Apr 1859, St John Lateran Rome by Cardinal Patrizi VG and incardinated in the Order of St Benedict. FIND OUT MORE Slide 3rd Archbishop of Sydney (1884-1911) Patrick Francis Cardinal Moran Patrick Francis Moran was born at Leiglinbridge, Ireland on 17 September 1830 to Patrick Moran and Alicia Cullen. After attending the Irish College, Rome from age 12, he was ordained on 19 March 1853 in Rome by Archbishop Antonio Luigi-Bussi. He served on the Staff of the Irish College, Rome as Vice-Rector from 1856. FIND OUT MORE Slide 4th Archbishop of Sydney (1911-40) Archbishop Michael Kelly Michael Kelly was born at Waterford, Ireland, on 13 February 1850 to James Kelly and Mary Grant. He was educated at Christian Brothers’, Enniscorthy and the Classical Academy, New Ross. He received his seminary formation at St Peter’s College, Wexford and the Irish College, Rome. He was ordained on 1 November 1872 by Bishop Thomas Furlong at Enniscorthy. FIND OUT MORE Slide 5th Archbishop of Sydney (1940-71) Sir Norman Thomas Cardinal Gilroy KBE Norman Thomas Gilroy was born in Sydney on 22 January 1896 to William James Gilroy and Catherine Slattery. He was educated at St Benedict's School Broadway, and Marist Brothers' College, Kogarah. Created Cardinal on 18 February 1946, the first Australian-born member of the Sacred College. Cardinal Gilroy died on 21 October 1977. FIND OUT MORE Slide 6th Archbishop of Sydney (1971-83) James Darcy Cardinal Freeman KBE Michael Kelly was born at Waterford, Ireland, on 13 February 1850 to James Kelly and Mary Grant. He was educated at Christian Brothers’, Enniscorthy and the Classical Academy, New Ross. He received his seminary formation at St Peter’s College, Wexford and the Irish College, Rome. He was ordained on 1 November 1872 by Bishop Thomas Furlong at Enniscorthy. FIND OUT MORE Slide 7th Archbishop of Sydney (1983-2001) Edward Bede Cardinal Clancy AC Edward Bede Clancy was born in Lithgow on 13 December 1923, the son of John Bede Clancy and Ellen Lucy Edwards. He was educated at Holy Camp Public School (Grenfell), St Monica's Primary School and Good Samaritan School, Richmond and Marist Brothers' College, Parramatta. FIND OUT MORE Slide 8th Archbishop of Sydney (2001-2014) Cardinal George Pell Cardinal George Pell was born in Ballarat, on June 8th 1941, and was educated in that city at Loreto Convent and St Patrick’s College. He studied for the priesthood at Corpus Christi College, Werribee, and Propaganda Fide College, Rome, and was ordained a Catholic priest for the Diocese of Ballarat by Cardinal Agagianian in Rome, on December 16th 1966. FIND OUT MORE

Brother John Taylor (1929-1993)

Brother John Taylor is best known for his service as the Executive Director of the Catholic Education Commission, NSW from 1984 - 1993. He played a key role in the development, organisation and management of Australian Catholic schools over three decades.

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Dame Mary Kate Barlow (1916-1934)

Chairwoman of the Catholic Women’s Association from 1914-16, and President from 1916-34, Dame Mary Barlow was the driving, uniting force behind the establishment and growth of the Catholic Women’s League.

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St Mary Mackillop (1842-1909)

While most Australians know Mary MacKillop's name, many are unaware of exactly what she achieved in her lifetime nor why this humble but determined Melbourne born nun is set to become Australia's first-ever saint.

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Caroline Chisholm (1808-1877)

Caroline Chisholm was born at Northampton, 30 May 1808, and died in London, 25 March 1877, and yet regarded Australia as her adopted land. She eased the path of thousands of migrants in this their new homeland.

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William Ullathorne (1806-1889)

William Bernard Ullathorne was born on 7 May 1806 at Pocklington, Yorkshire, England, the eldest of ten children of William Ullathorne and his wife Hannah Longstaff. At 12 his schooling was cut short and he entered the family business at Scarborough.

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John McEncroe (1794-1868)

John McEncroe was born on 26 December 1794 in Ardsallagh, near Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland, the son of William McEncroe and Mary D’Arcy. Two years later his father was killed in an accident. He was educated at Flynn’s Grammar School.

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Father John Joseph Therry (1790 – 1864)

The son of John Therry and his wife Eliza Connolly, John Joseph Therry was born in Cork, Ireland in 1790. He was educated privately and at St Patrick's College, Carlow. Ordained a priest in 1815, he was assigned to parish work in Dublin and then Cork.

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Above are some of the Significant Early Pioneers in the Church in Sydney

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