1838 – 1900

J. A. Goold

1838 On 24 February James Alypius Goold osa arrived in Sydney as the first Augustinian to live and minister in Australia. His career was an illustrious one. After ministering briefly in Sydney, Goold, from the Irish Province of the Order, worked in Campbelltown NSW for 10 years before becoming the first Catholic Bishop of Melbourne (arriving there in 1848). (Photo at right: James Goold osa. Photo below: Church at Kyabram West in 1880.)

1838 – 1880’s Several Irish Augustinians came to Australia with the blessing of the Order. In this period the Order as such did not make a commitment to Australia. The Augustinians who came in this period lived a style of life similar to diocesan priests. They served in the colonies of Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania. Some of them had connections to important events in Australian history. Matthew Downing osa endeavoured to pacify the anger of miners who would be involved in the Eureka Stockade in 1854. It is generally believed that Charles O’Hea osa baptised the infant Edward (Ned) Kelly in 1854 (although the registration of Ned’s baptism has never been located) and in 1880 he was definitely one of the two priests who together ministered to Ned in the period leading up to Ned’s execution. James Nowlan osa working in Adelaide was caught up in the controversies surrounding the work of Mary MacKillop, foundress of the Sisters of Saint Joseph.

Kyabram West church, Victoria in the 1880s

1875 Martin Crane OSA arrived in Australia to take up his duties as Bishop of Sandhurst.

1879 Laurence Moran OSA the first Australian born Augustinian professed his first vows in Ireland. Sadly he died in 1881 at San Pio, Genazzano (Italy) at nineteen years of age.

1884 The Irish Augustinians accepted pastoral responsibility for the area of Far North Queensland that would eventually become the Diocese of Cairns. John Hutchinson, James Murray and William O’Byrne were the first of many Augustinians who ministered in this region. Their ministry was first centred in Cooktown. This was the first commitment of the Order as such to Australia. Hutchinson (later Bishop Hutchinson) was appointed the first Vicar Apostolic of the region. The style of life of the early Augustinians in the pro-vicariate was similar to that of diocesan priests in a missionary area. (See photo at right.)

Ministry in Far North Queensland

1886 The first Augustinian priory in Australia was founded in the parish of Echuca in Northern Victoria. In the years that followed, the Order established communities in the nearby parishes of Rochester (1889) and Kyabram (1903).

1886 Death of James Goold, first Augustinian to have ministered in Australia and first bishop of Melbourne.

1898 James Dominic Murray osa was appointed Vicar Apostolic (Bishop) of Cooktown upon the death of Bishop Hutchinson.