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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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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