1901 to 2010

1901Federation of Australia.
1905Australian Catechism inaugurated.
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.
1911Death of Cardinal Moran; Michael Kelly appointed Archbishop of Sydney;
Catholic Federation formed in Melbourne; Francis Xavier Gsell establishes mission at Nguiu.
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.
1916Catholic Women’s Social Guild founded in Melbourne;
1916-7 conscription referendums opposed by many Catholics.
1917James Duhig appointed Archbishop of Brisbane;
Mannix succeeds Carr as Archbishop of Melbourne.
1918Completion of Beagle Bay Church with its pearl shell altar;
Special Intelligence Bureau investigates suspected Sinn Feiner Arthur Calwell.
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.
St Patrick's Day Parade Melbourne, in the early 1920s.
St Patrick’s Day Parade Melbourne, in the early 1920s.
1921Poetry anthology Around the Boree Log by “John O’Brien” (Fr Patrick Hartigan) celebrates the virtues of Catholic rural life.
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)
1926Frank Sheed and Maisie Ward found Sheed & Ward publishing house in London.
1928Crowds of half a million watch the procession ending the International Eucharistic Congress in Sydney.
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.
1931Catholic radio station 2SM opened in Sydney.
1932Joe Lyons becomes Prime Minister.
1934Eucharistic Congress in Melbourne. (newsreel)
1935Port Keats mission founded.
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.
1939Pius XII elected.
1939-45 World War II.
1940Death of Archbishop Kelly (newsreel); Norman Gilroy succeeds as Archbishop of Sydney;
first annual Catholic bishops’s social justice statement;
foundation of Australian Catholic Historical Society;
Matthew Beovich appointed Archbishop of Adelaide.
1941Morris West leaves the Christian Brothers and marries.
1942Catholic Weekly begins in Sydney.
1943Enid Lyons elected first woman member of the House of Representatives.
1944Death in action of war photographer Damien Parer
1945Catholic 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.
1946Gilroy appointed first Australian-born Cardinal;
Fr Murtagh‘s Australia: The Catholic Chapter.
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.
1951Australian Jesuit mission to India begins;
Justin O’Brien’s The Virgin Enthroned wins the first Blake Prize for religious art
1952James McAuley converts to Catholicism; mass Italian immigration to Australia begins.
1953Eris O’Brien appointed Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn; 150,000 attend Fr Peyton’s Rosary Crusade in Melbourne
1954First issue of the Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society
1955Labor Party split pits majority of Labor Party against B.A. Santamaria‘s “Movement”; predominantly Catholic Democratic Labor Party formed;
Cardinal Gilroy and Eris O’Brien visit South Vietnam.
1955-70Schools enrolment “explosion”.
1959Morris West’s novel The Devil’s Advocate.
1961Eric D’Arcy’s Conscience and its Right to Freedom published
1962-5Second Vatican Council opens in Rome;
Goulburn Schools Strike increases pressure for state aid to Catholic schools.
1963Death of John XXIII & Mannix; Paul VI elected Pope;
Morris West’s The Shoes of the Fisherman the best-selling novel of the year in the U.S;
Catholic Overseas Relief Committee (later Caritas) established.
1964Mass in English;
first direct government grants to Catholic schools;
James McAuley’s epic poem Captain Quiros deals with Quiros’s spiritual quest in the Pacific Ocean;
Arthur Calwell awarded Papal Knighthood.
1965Australian Catholic Bishops Conference set up.
1967Rosemary Goldie appointed Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity; James Knox succeeds Justin Simonds as Archbishop of Melbourne
Ronald Ryan the last person hanged in Australia, after re-converting to Catholicism.
1968Controversies over Humanae Vitae and Vietnam;
opening of St Paul’s National Seminary at Kensington;
Thomas Keneally‘s novel Three Cheers for the Paraclete dramatises life in St Patrick’s Seminary, Manly;
publication of Patrick O’Farrell‘s The Catholic Church in Australia: A Short History.
1969Cardinal Gilroy knighted, the first Cardinal to be knighted since the Reformation.
1970Paul VI becomes first pope to visit Australia;
Opus Dei opens Warrane College at UNSW
1971Gilroy retires; James Freeman appointed Archbishop of Sydney;
activist priest Fr Ted Kennedy takes up work in Redfern;
Mum Shirl helps establish Aboriginal Medical Service;
Barry Oakley’s play The Feet of Daniel Mannix opens
1970sSubstantial direct funding for Catholic schools.
1972Sr Veronica Brady takes up position in English at University of Western Australia.
1973First Maronite bishop in Australia;
Peter Kenna’s A Hard God first performed;
Sister Janet Mead’s rock version of the Lord’s Prayer.
1974Marriage Encounter spreads to Australia;
Whitlam’s appointment of Vince Gair as Ambassador to Ireland initiates constitutional crisis;
Frank Little appointed Archbishop of Melbourne.
1975Patrick Dodson ordained, first Aboriginal priest;
opening of Ron Blair’s play The Christian Brothers;
Indonesian invasion of East Timor results in refugees coming to Australia.
1976Australia declared no longer a mission country by Rome.
1977St Columba’s Seminary closed.
1978John Paul II elected Pope.
1979Australian acceptance of boat people from Vietnam begins large-scale Asian immigration, including Catholics.
1982Freeman retires; Edward Clancy becomes Archbishop of Sydney.
1986John Paul II visits Australia (newsreel);
first census in which Catholics were the largest denomination in Australia;
Broken Bay and Parramatta dioceses set up.
1987Tony Abbott leaves St Patrick’s Seminary before ordination;
Edmund Campion‘s Australian Catholics published.
1988AD2000 magazine founded to promote traditionalist values;
Eric D’Arcy appointed Archbishop of Hobart.
1989University of Notre Dame, Australia established in Fremantle;
Cardinal Cassidy appointed President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
1991Sr Irene McCormack murdered by Maoist guerrillas in Peru;
Australian Catholic University established from the amalgamation of four tertiary colleges;
Brides of Christ TV miniseries dramatises convent life in the 1960s.
1992The Leaving of Liverpool TV drama series calls attention to the abuse of child migrants;
High Court’s Mabo decision on native title influenced by Catholic natural law theory.
1995Mary McKillop declared Blessed;
Closure of St Patrick’s Seminary, Manly.
1996Bishops establish “Towards Healing” process to deal with complaints of abuse of minors by clergy;
William Deane appointed Governor-General;
George Pell succeeds Frank Little as Archbishop of Melbourne.
1998Catholic spokesmen agree to thawing and destruction of thousands of frozen embryos left over from IVF.
1999Threat of Australian military action significant in the formation of Asia’s second Christian nation, East Timor, international force led by Peter Cosgrove.
2000Spires of St Mary’s Cathedral Sydney
completed, with generous State government assistance.
2001George Pell appointed Archbishop of Sydney.
2003Reporter Mike Willesee speaks of his rediscovery of Catholicism.
2004Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ released.
2005Connor Court Publishing established;
Widespread prayers before the execution of drug trafficker Van Tuong Nguyen in Singapore.
2006University of Notre Dame Sydney campus established;
Campion College liberal arts college in Western Sydney takes in first students;
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban marry in Cerretti Chapel, Manly.
2007Bishop Geoffrey Robinson‘s Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church published.
2008World Youth Day held in Sydney, with visit of Pope Benedict XVI. (newsreel)
2010Mary Mackillop canonised, the first Australian to be canonised. (newsreel)

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