1841 to 1900

<- To 1840

1841Caroline Chisholm granted barracks for her Female Immigrants’ Home;
arrival of first priest in South Australia, Fr Benson
Perth schoolteacher Robert D’Arcy requests that priests be sent;
Fr Therry transcribes confession of Patrick Minehan to murder
1842Polding named Archbishop of Sydney, Anglican bishop protests;
Mary MacKillop baptised in Melbourne
1843Christian Brothers arrive in Sydney (leave in 1847);
first Catholic church in WA begins construction;
first mass in Brisbane;
3 Italian and one Swiss priest begin mission to Aborigines on Stradbroke Is;
Orange Lodge formed in Victoria to “resist … the lawless conduct of the Popish mob”
1844Robert Willson arrives as first Catholic bishop of Hobart;
Francis Murphy arrives as first Catholic bishop of Adelaide;
Roman Catholic Orphan School opened at Parramatta with the transfer of 113 orphans from Waverley;
First Australian Provincial Council held in Sydney
1845Bishop Brady consecrated as first bishop of Perth;
Marist Fathers arrive and establish at Woolloomooloo;
Australasian Holy Catholic Guild founded;
Friendly Brothers Society formed to assist Melbourne orphans
1846Dom Rosendo Salvado founds the New Norcia mission (later abbey);
Sisters of Mercy arrive in Perth;
Polding gives evidence of effects of aboriginal dispossession;
Fr Angelo Confalonieri arrives in Port Essington as the first missionary in Northern Australia;
Irish Catholic mob attacks Orangemen in Melbourne, shots fired;
Caroline Chisholm replies to John Dunmore Lang’s accusations;
J.K. Heydon imports shipment of Catholic books
1847Sisters of Charity begin work in Hobart;
Publication of John Dunmore Lang‘s Popery in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, and How to Check it Effectually
1848Sr Scholastica Gibbons founds House of the Good Shepherd women’s home in Sydney;
Benedictine nuns arrive in Sydney;
Two Austrian Jesuits arrive in South Australia;
James Goold arrives in Melbourne as first bishop;
Ordination of Daniel Vincent Maurus O’Connell, first native-born priest;
First shipment of Irish famine orphans arrive;
Barzillai Quaife’s Sydney Protestant Lectures on Prophecy identify Catholic Church with Antichrist
1849St Peter Chanel‘s remains arrive in Sydney on their way back to France after his martyrdom in Futuna
1850Freeman’s Journal begun by McEncroe;
Caroline Chisholm’s first chartered emigrant ship leaves London
1851Gold rushes begin, Polding preaches against sly grog on the Turon diggings;
Henry Parkes attacks Catholicism as a “grovelling superstition”;
Bishop Brady leaves Rome for Perth contrary to papal orders
1852Polding’s visit to Perth ensures implementation of Bishop Brady’s suspension;
Lyndhurst, Glebe, Sydney established as Benedictine secondary school with classical curriculum
1853Transportation ends in Van Diemen’s Land (renamed Tasmania);
Death of aboriginal seminarian Conaci in Rome
1854First Australian conference of St Vincent de Paul Society and orphanage established in Melbourne;
Fr Patrick Smyth calls for peaceful resistance at Eureka Stockade;
Death of Polding’s assistant, Bishop Davis;
Catholic orphanage opened in Melbourne;
Caroline Chisholm returns to Australia to continue work helping colonists
1855Death of aboriginal seminarian John Dirimera after return from Rome
1856Conversion of Thomas Arnold, brother of Matthew Arnold and Tasmanian Inspector of Schools
1857St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney established by Sisters of Charity;
Sisters of the Good Samaritan founded in Sydney;
John O’Shanassy becomes Premier of Victoria;
St John’s College, University of Sydney, established by Act of Parliament
1858Bishops threaten to excommunicate laymen who criticise them in the press;
Convert Dr Anthony Brownless appointed Vice-Chancellor of Melbourne University
1859Queensland proclaimed a colony and James Quinn appointed first Bishop of Brisbane;
Rome decides to send Irish bishops to Australia;
Sr Baptist de Lacy, Rectress of St Vincent’s Hospital, returns to Ireland after controversy over the provision of Protestant bibles to Protestant patients;
Fr Bleasdale founds Catholic Young Men’s Society in Melbourne
1860Bishop Geoghegan begins Catholic schools in South Australia;
Maitland riot prevents lecture on ‘The heathenism of Popery’;
Mary MacKillop begins working at Penola;
Mother Ursula Frayne establishes House of Mercy in Melbourne for unprotected young women
1861Mercy Sisters under Mother Vincent Whitty arrive in Queensland
1862Australian provincial council held in Melbourne but not canonically recognised;
The first of 13 ships of Bishop Quinn’s Queensland Immigration Scheme brings Irish to Brisbane
1863Abbotsford Convent opened in Melbourne as multipurpose charitable home;
Polding tries but fails to meet bushranger Ben Hall
1864Loyal Orange Institution reorganised in Victoria to combat Catholic influence;
Death of Fr Therry, pioneer priest
1865St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney burns down;
Publication of Tenison Woods’ History of the Discovery and Exploration of Australia;
Publication of Columbus Fitzpatrick’s first, second and third recollections of the early days of Catholicism in NSW
Arrival of Chinese priest, Fr Joseph Ah Lee, in Melbourne
1866Mary MacKillop and Julian Tenison Woods begin the Sisters of St Joseph
1867Foundation of St Stanislaus’ College, Bathurst
1868Shooting of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh at Clontarf by Irishman O’Farrell leads to anti-Irish feeling, Parkes’ Kiama speech blames a Fenian conspiracy;
Christian Brothers return to Melbourne;
Hibernian Australasian Catholic Benefit Society founded
Blessed Mary MacKillop 1870s
St Mary MacKillop, 1870s.
1869Bishops’ pastoral letter declares white men have “too often been apostles of Satan” in dealing with aboriginals;
Temporary St Mary’s Cathedral burns down again;
Second Australian Provincial Council held in Melbourne (Proceedings);
Australian bishops attend opening of First Vatican Council
1870Josephite sisters report Fr Keating of Kapunda for sexual abuse of children
1871Mary MacKillop excommunicated;
Former Irish nationalist Charles Gavan Duffy becomes Premier of Victoria
1872State aid to Church schools abolished in Victoria;
MacKillop’s excommunication revoked;
Marist Brothers under Br Ludovic begin teaching in Sydney
1873Roger Vaughan appointed coadjutor bishop to Sydney
1874Foundation of St Patrick’s College Goulburn and Mount Erin Convent Wagga;
Sisters of Perpetual Adoration founded in Brisbane
1875State Aid to church schools withdrawn in Qld;
Fr Duncan McNab begins mission to indigenous in Qld;
Loreto Sisters arrive in Australia and establish school at Ballarat
1876Vaughan’s speech ‘Hidden Springs‘ attributes the campaign for secular education to a Masonic conspiracy;
Aboriginal tribe settled on St Joseph’s Farm in Burragorang Valley by Fr Dillon;
Decision taken to demolish Hobart’s 10-year-old cathedral as unsafe
1877Death of Polding; Vaughan becomes Archbishop of Sydney;
Bishop O’Mahony of Armidale resigns after allegations of impropriety
1878Opening of Jesuit Xavier College, Kew;
Sydney’s Hyde Park closed to public speakers after Irish-Protestant clashes
1879Vaughan’s Joint Pastoral condemns public schools as “seedplots of future immorality, infidelity and lawlessness”;
Riot in Hobart at the lecture of anti-Catholic ex-priest Charles Chiniquy
1880Public Instruction Act (NSW) removes state aid for church schools;
Ned Kelly given the last sacraments before execution;
Foundation of St Ignatius’ College Riverview;
Sisters of Mercy from Buenos Aires arrive in Adelaide
1881Foundation of St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill;
St Vincent de Paul Society reestablished in Sydney;
Arrival in Sydney of Italian refugees from failed settlement in New Ireland
1882Archbishop Goold shot at by deranged solicitor O’Farrell;
Refugee German Ursuline nuns arrive in Armidale
1883Death of Archbishop Vaughan;
Edmund Vaughan‘s Australian Catholic Hymnal published;
Australian tour of John Redmond in support of Home Rule for Ireland;
Dominican nuns arrive in Adelaide and specialise in embroidery;
Good Shepherd girls reformatory Oakleigh opened
1884Patrick Francis Moran arrives in Sydney as Archbishop;
Little Sisters of the Poor begin aged care in Melbourne;
Architectural partnership of Sheerin & Hennessy formed;
Missionaries of the Sacred Heart establish mission on Thursday Island
1885First Plenary Council of Australasia;
Moran appointed the first Australian cardinal;
French Carmelite nuns arrive in Sydney
1886Thomas Carr appointed Archbishop of Melbourne;
Patrick Jennings the first Catholic premier of NSW;
Publication of Dean John Kenny’s History of the Commencement and Progress of Catholicity in Australia;
Riot in Lismore as Irish-American “escaped nun” Edith O’Gorman speaks to Orange Lodge
1887Rome declares central government for Sisters of St Joseph
1888Cardinal Moran speaks against anti-Chinese immigration legislation;
The Church and the Centenary‘ includes testimony of Ambrose Fitzpatrick on the earliest Catholic life in Australia;
Nazareth House Ballarat opened to care for the aged and for girls
1889St Patrick’s Seminary Manly opened;
Missionaries of the Sacred Heart’s magazine Annals founded
1890Mary MacKillop’s brother Donald McKillop appointed Superior of the Jesuit mission in the Northern Territory;
J.J. Dalton of Orange elected Member for West Donegal in the House of Commons;
Sisters of Our Lady of Sion take over Catholic education in Sale
Sacred Heart Hospice for the dying established by Sisters of Charity in Sydney
1891Foundation stone laid of first Melkite church in Australia;
Moran’s speech on Rights and Duties of Labour supports rights of workers;
Austral Light magazine founded in Melbourne;
1892Trappist Fathers establish Beagle Bay School in the Kimberley;
W.N. Bull funerals founded
1893Sisters of Charity found St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne;
First Maronite priests arrive in Sydney;
publication of Banjo Paterson’s comic poem ‘A Bush Christening‘;
St Patrick’s College Ballarat opened
1894Gertrude Abbott founds St Margaret’s maternity hospital in inner Sydney;
Australasian Catholic Record founded by Moran
1895Cardinal Moran’s History of the Catholic Church in Australasia published (1003 pages);
Second Australian Plenary Council
1896Moran speaks at Bathurst in favour of Federation
1897Patrick Vincent Dwyer appointed the first Australian-born Catholic bishop;
PM Glynn persuades Federal Convention to insert reference to God in preamble to Australian Constitution;
Sacred Heart Monastery, Kensington NSW opened
1898Fr Long announces find of huge nugget in Kanowna WA
1899Jesuit mission in Northern Territory abandoned after disastrous floods
1900Sectarian bitterness over naming as co-respondent in divorce case of Fr Denis O’Haran, Moran’s private secretary; jury finds for O’Haran in 1901;
Chaplain Fr Timoney protests against treatment of Boers;
First Australasian Catholic Congress, Sydney
A Hibernian Society group, North Queensland.
A Hibernian Society group, North Queensland.

The ACHS Timeline


To 1840

1841 – 1900

1901 – 1950

1951 – 2023

-> 1901-1950