1900 – 1948


1901 Stephen Reville OSA, who earlier had been appointed as Co-Adjutor Bishop of Sandhurst, became Bishop in his own right upon the death of Bishop Martin Crane OSA. He had served with Bishop Crane throughout 1884 to 1901. He was a contributor in the public debate about religious education in schools.

1914 John Heavey OSA was appointed Bishop of Cooktown upon the death of James Dominic Murray OSA.

1916 Death of Bishop Reville the last Augustinian bishop of Victoria. (Photo at above right: Priests in a car at Kyabram, Victoria in 1913.)

St Mary’s Church in Cooktown, Far North Queensland before 1914.

Summary of the first half of 20th century – During this period Augustinian life and ministry was focussed in Far North Queensland and Northern Victoria. In Far North Queensland, Augustinians were mainly living individually in the various parishes and settlements with some community life in larger centres. In northern Victoria, the style of life was based on Augustinian communities in the three towns of Echuca, Rochester and Kyabram. While most Augustinians in Australia were from the Irish Province, over the years there were others from Spain, Malta, and Italy who assisted. As yet there was no programmed approach to attract Australian born-candidates.

1924 Profession of James Gregory Fitzgerald OSA from northern New South Wales. Brother Greg as he became known first met the Augustinians in Genazzano, Italy while on an overseas pilgrimage. This journey had been suggested by Eileen O’Connor foundress of the Australian Brown Sisters. Brother Greg joined the Irish Province in 1922. It was 1940 before he returned to Australia.

1940 Ordination in Rome of Leslie John Seary OSA, from Mareeba – the first Australian to be ordained a priest in the Order. He spent many years of his life as an Augustinian priest working in Nigeria. (See photo at right.)

1941 Vicariate of Cooktown became the Diocese of Cairns.

1942 Rod Cameron from Cairns travelled to the United States to begin his formation as an Augustinian. Thus began a period of active promotion of Augustinian religious life among Australians. Many others joined the Order in the years that followed.

1948 Death of John Heavey, Bishop of Cairns, the last of six Augustinians to serves as a bishop in Australia.