1901 to 1950

1901Federation of Australia;
St Joseph’s Foundling Hospital begun in Melbourne
1904Second Australasian Catholic Congress, Melbourne;
Cardinal Moran resists papal decree on church music;
Australian Catholic Truth Society begun
1905Australian Catechism inaugurated;
Third Australian Plenary Council;
controversy over compatibility of Catholicism and socialism
1908Harvester Judgment follows Leo XIII in declaring “reasonable and frugal comfort” the standard for a minimum wage
1909Death of Mary MacKillop, with her order having 1000 sisters;
St Columba’s Seminary Springwood opened;
Haberfield church the first in the world to be named after newly beatified Joan of Arc;
Third Australasian Catholic Congress, Sydney
1911Death of Cardinal Moran; Michael Kelly appointed Archbishop of Sydney;
Catholic Federation formed in Melbourne;
Francis Xavier Gsell establishes mission at Nguiu;
Archbishop Kelly condemns the evils of mixed bathing
1913Daniel Mannix arrives in Melbourne as Coadjutor;
Eileen O’Connor founds the “Brown Nurses” to help the sick poor in their homes
1914World War I declared;
Ben Chifley marries in a Presbyterian church, incurring automatic excommunication
1915Fr John Fahey and Fr Michael Bergin SJ minister at Gallipoli
1916Catholic Women’s Social Guild founded in Melbourne;
Mannix a leader of the successful “No” case in the first conscription referendum
1917James Duhig appointed Archbishop of Brisbane;
Mannix succeeds Carr as Archbishop of Melbourne;
death and huge funeral processions of Les Darcy
1918Completion of Beagle Bay Church with its pearl shell altar;
Special Intelligence Bureau investigates suspected Sinn Feiner Arthur Calwell;
opening of Newman College, University of Melbourne;
Fr Ted McGrath awarded Military Cross for rescuing soldiers under fire;
Nurse Annie Egan unable to receive last rites when dying of Spanish Flu
1919Democratic Party founded in NSW; Knights of the Southern Cross founded
1920Democratic Party fails in elections;
Sister Liguori “flees” Wagga convent, leading to Catholic-Protestant controversy;
Melbourne St Patrick’s Day procession led by 14 VC winners on white chargers;
Royal Navy prevents Mannix landing in Ireland;
Dr Mary Glowrey leaves Melbourne for medical missionary work in India;
first issue of The Far East magazine on the China mission;
a WA Christian Brother jailed for sexual abuse
St Patrick's Day Parade Melbourne, in the early 1920s.
St Patrick’s Day Parade Melbourne, 1920.
1921Death of Eileen O’Connor
1923Central Catholic Library established in Melbourne as focus of intellectual life;
beginning of Br Henry‘s long string of successes as football coach at St Joseph’s Hunter Hill
1924NSW legislation to forbid the promulgation of the papal marriage decree Ne temere defeated by two votes
1925Silent film of Around the Boree Log (Part 1, 41MB) (Courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive);
Catholic Evidence Guild begin outdoor speaking in Sydney Domain
1926Frank Sheed and Maisie Ward found Sheed & Ward publishing house in London
1927Work begins on Brisbane’s never-completed Holy Name Cathedral;
national Catholic pilgrimage to Canberra
canberra1927
National Pilgrimaage to Canberra, 1927
1928Crowds of half a million watch the procession ending the International Eucharistic Congress in Sydney;
Sydney University Newman Society formed
1929James Scullin becomes Australia’s first Prime Minister of Catholic background
1930Maude O’Connell founds the Grey Sisters in Melbourne to help poor mothers with housework and respite;
Edward McTiernan appointed to High Court and serves for 46 years
1931Catholic radio station 2SM opened in Sydney
1932Joe Lyons becomes Prime Minister;
Olympic runner Jim Carlton gives up career to enter priesthood
1934Eucharistic Congress in Melbourne (newsreel)
1935Port Keats mission founded; Francis McGarry moves to Alice Springs and helps establish Little Flower Mission
1936Catholic Worker newspaper begins;
The Grail women’s movement brought to Australia
1936-7Tension between Australian cricket captain Don Bradman and Catholic members of the team
1936-9Spanish Civil War divides Catholic opinion in Australia
1937National Secretariat of Catholic Action established, with FK Maher & BA Santamaria as leaders;
Norman Gilroy appointed Coadjutor to Sydney;
Plenary Council issues 685 decrees;
nuns undertake care at Derby Leprosarium
Joseph Nugent Bull wounded while fighting for Francoist forces in Spain
1938Aboriginal order of nuns founded in the Kimberley
1939Pius XII elected;
Vienna Mozart Boys Choir given refuge in Melbourne when stranded in Australia on the outbreak of war
1939-45 World War II
1940Death of Archbishop Kelly (newsreel); Norman Gilroy succeeds as Archbishop of Sydney;
first annual Catholic bishops’ social justice statement;
foundation of Australian Catholic Historical Society;
Matthew Beovich appointed Archbishop of Adelaide;
Boys’ Town, Engadine, founded by Fr Dunlea
1941Morris West leaves the Christian Brothers and marries;
Percy JonesAustralian Hymnal published
1942Three Australian Marist Brothers murdered by Japanese in Solomon Islands;
nuns imprisoned near Rabaul;
two priests and a brother killed in Montevideo Maru sinking;
Fr Pierce organises an escape from Singapore;
chapels built in Changi POW camp;
Bathurst Island mission warns Darwin of approaching bombers;
Catholic Weekly begins in Sydney;
University Catholic Federation of Australia formed
1943Enid Lyons elected first woman member of the House of Representatives;
Kalumburu mission bombed by Japanese
1944Death in action of war photographer Damien Parer
1945Fr Cosgrave survives bayoneting by Japanese in Manila;
Catholic Social Study Movement formed; Ben Chifley Prime Minister;
Arthur Calwell appointed Australia’s first Minister for Immigration;
Dr Woodbury founds Aquinas Academy in Sydney to teach philosophy to laity; publication of Bernard O’Reilly‘s memoir of poor Catholic rural life, Cullenbenbong and of B.A. Santamaria’s The Earth Our Mother promoting rural settlement;
St Thomas More Society for Catholic lawyers formed
1946Gilroy appointed first Australian-born Cardinal;
Fr Murtagh‘s Australia: The Catholic Chapter and Paul Grano‘s Witness to the Stars: An Anthology of Catholic Verse by Australasian Poets
1947Calwell’s agreement with International Refugee Organization begins large-scale immigration of Eastern European Displaced Persons
1948Anti-communist priest Dr Paddy Ryan debates communism before a crowd of 30,000 in Sydney;
Hospitaller Brothers of St John of God establish first facility in Australia at Morisset;
Ruth Park’s The Harp in the South portrays poor inner-city Catholic life;
Cardinal Spellman and Fulton Sheen visit Australia
1949“Diver” Dobson hoax alleges connections between security services and Catholic authorities;
Fr Lionel Marsden, survivor of Burma-Siam Railway, founds Marist mission to Japan;
defeat of Chifley government by Menzies
1950Frank Hardy’s roman à clef Power Without Glory caricatures Mannix and associates, criminal libel trial fails to proceed;
Mannix apologises to Bertrand Russell

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