Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Archdiocese of Canberra – Goulburn

Archidioecesis Camberrensis – Gulburnensis

Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn
Coat of Arms of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn.svg
Coat of Arms of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn
Country Australia
TerritoryThe Australian Capital Territory, and the South West Slopes, Southern Tablelands, Monaro and the South Coast regions of New South Wales
MetropolitanImmediately subject to the Holy See
Coordinates35°17′41″S 149°07′36″E / 35.29472°S 149.12667°E / -35.29472; 149.12667
Area88,000 km2 (34,000 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2006)
Increase 569,000
Increase 159,670 (Decrease 28.1%)
ParishesDecrease 55
DenominationRoman Catholic
RiteLatin Rite
Established17 November 1862 as the Diocese of Goulburn;
5 February 1948 as the Archdiocese of Canberra (and Goulburn);
19 June 2006 as the Archdiocese of Canberra – Goulburn
CathedralSt. Christopher's Cathedral
Patron saintSt. Mary
Current leadership
ArchbishopChristopher Prowse
Emeritus BishopsFrancis Carroll (archbishop);
Pat Power (auxiliary)
Archdiocese of Canberra – Goulburn

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra – Goulburn is a Latin Rite archdiocese located in the Australian Capital Territory, and the South West Slopes, Southern Tablelands, Monaro and the South Coast regions of New South Wales, Australia. Erected in 1948, the archdiocese is attached to the Archdiocese of Sydney but immediately subject to the Holy See.

St. Christopher's Cathedral at Manuka is the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Canberra – Goulburn. On 12 September 2013 it was announced that the Bishop of Sale, Christopher Prowse, had been appointed as the next Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn. Archbishop Prowse was installed on 19 November 2013.


The diocese of Goulburn was established in 1864 to serve the needs of the scattered rural, overwhelmingly Irish, Catholics of the south coast, southern highlands and south-west slopes of New South Wales.[1]

Ordinaries of Canberra and Goulburn[edit]

Bishops of Goulburn[edit]

The following individuals have been elected as Roman Catholic Bishop of Goulburn:[2]

Order Name Date enthroned Reign ended Term of office Reason for term end
1 Patrick Geoghegan, O.F.M. 10 March 1864 9 May 1864 60 days Died in office
2 William Lanigan 18 December 1866 13 June 1900 33 years, 177 days Died in office
3 John Gallagher 13 June 1900 26 November 1923 23 years, 166 days Died in office
4 John Barry 1 March 1924 22 March 1938 14 years, 21 days Died in office
5 Terence McGuire 14 June 1938 5 February 1948 19 years, 236 days Elevated to Archbishop of Canberra (and Goulburn)

Archbishops of Canberra – Goulburn[edit]

The following individuals have been elected as Roman Catholic Archbishop of Canberra – Goulburn:[2]

Order Name Date enthroned Reign ended Term of office Reason for term end
1 Terence McGuire 5 February 1948 16 November 1953 5 years, 284 days Resigned and appointed Archbishop Emeritus of Canberra (and Goulburn)
2 Eris O'Brien 16 November 1953 20 November 1966 13 years, 4 days Resigned and appointed Archbishop Emeritus of Canberra (and Goulburn)
3 Thomas Cahill 13 April 1967 16 April 1978 11 years, 3 days Died in office
4 Edward Bede Clancy 24 November 1978 12 February 1983 4 years, 80 days Translated as Archbishop of Sydney
5 Francis Carroll 25 June 1983 19 June 2006 22 years, 359 days Retired and appointed Archbishop Emeritus of Canberra – Goulburn
6 Mark Coleridge 19 June 2006 2 April 2012 12 years, 178 days Translated as archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane
7 Christopher Prowse 19 November 2013 present 5 years, 25 days incumbent


St Christopher's Cathedral, Canberra

St Christopher's was built as the first parish church of Canberra by the first priest, Father Patrick Haydon, although the beginnings of Catholic life in the district go back to 1862 when the Diocese of Goulburn was erected.[3] The parish was originally part of St Gregory's Parish, Queanbeyan, until 1912. Following the erection of the Diocese of Wagga Wagga in 1918, the parish was transferred to the Diocese of Goulburn.[4] A foundation stone was laid by Archbishop Kelly in 1927 for a church and school. The following year St Christopher's became an independent parish with the first classes taught in the adjacent school, and the open day attended by the Prime Minister, Bruce. In 1930 a large cathedral was proposed for the site behind Regatta Point, but economic circumstances and World War II made this impractical.[5] A foundation stone for the cathedral was laid in 1938 by Archbishop Gilroy in a ceremony which included Joseph Lyons and James Scullin. The choice of St Christopher as patron saint was selected on the basis that Canberra would be a place to which many travellers would come. In the presence of Robert Menzies, the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Panico, opened the parish church in 1939.[3]

The first ordination in St Christopher's Church took place in 1947 when Vivian Morrison, the son of the pioneering Morrison family (who donated the tower and bells of the extended cathedral) of Tralee Queanbeyan, was ordained to the priesthood.[3] The following year, the Archdiocese of Canberra (and Goulburn) was created and St Christopher's became a pro-cathedral. When Archbishop Eris O'Brien took up residence in Canberra it became a co-cathedral with St Peter and St Paul, Goulburn. St Christopher's was extended to twice its size, holding 1000 worshippers. This work, which retained the stained glass windows of the original church, was completed in 1973 according to plans developed by Clement Glancy, son of the original architect. The plans for the enlarged church included the bell tower, Blessed Sacrament Chapel, large sacristies and a crypt. The extensions were consecrated by Archbishop Cahill and the extended St Christopher's became the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, superseding St Peter and St Paul, Goulburn.[3][4][6] In June 2008, under the direction of Archbishop Mark Coleridge, the cathedral was refurbished to mark the diamond jubilee of the archdiocese. The cathedral has had three Catholic prime ministers as regular parishioners; Scullin, Lyons and Frank Forde.[3][7]

The present pipe organ was built by Hill, Norman & Beard from Melbourne and was used by St James' Anglican Church, King Street, Sydney, while their organ was being rebuilt. Its size was doubled when installed on the gallery in 1972. There are 1100 wood and metal pipes contained in two cases on either side of the rose window.[4]

In 2010 it was reported that the archdiocese planned to commence a A$35 million redevelopment of the precinct surrounding St Christopher's Cathedral, to include church offices and aged care units.[8][9] In subsequent media reports, the diocese entered into an agreement with the ACT Government to exchange land held by the church in Braddon to partially fund the redevelopment of the cathedral site. However, a proposed listing of St Patrick's Church in Braddon on the register of the Heritage Council may mean that the redevelopment may not proceed.[10]

Archbishops Eris O'Brien and Thomas Cahill are buried in the crypt of the cathedral.[11][12]

Archbishop's residence[edit]

Official residence of the Archbishop. Plinth of Foundation Stone in foreground.
Foundation stone

The official residence of the Archbishop is in Canberra, at Regatta Point, Parkes, ACT. It was officially opened on 8 April 1930, during the time of Bishop John Barry. The foundation stone at the front is inscribed in Latin.

At the time of its erection, it would have overlooked the valley of the Molonglo River with views to Parliament House to the south.

The house is on a hill at the south-eastern side of the road fly-over of Commonwealth Avenue and Parkes Way. When Lake Burley Griffin was built in the 1960s (the current Commonwealth Bridge was opened in the 1963) road access became more difficult, as the driveway if at an off-ramp of Parkes Way to Commonwealth Avenue.


Sacred Heart Church in Temora
St Mary's Church in Young

The archdiocese is divided into five separate deaneries which administer individual parishes:[13]

  1. The Central Deanery covers the Australian Capital Territory with parishes located in the Canberra suburbs of Manuka (Cathedral of St Christopher), Aranda (St Vincent de Paul), Campbell (St Thomas More), Canberra Central (St Brigid in Dickson and St Patrick in Braddon), Charnwood (St Thomas Aquinas), Evatt (St Monica), Gungahlin (Holy Spirit in Amaroo and St Francis Xavier in Hall), Kaleen (St Michael), Kambah (St Thomas the Apostle), Kippax (St John the Apostle), Narrabundah (St Benedict), North Woden (Holy Trinity in Curtin, Ss Peter & Paul in Garran, and John XXIII College Chapel at ANU), O'Connor (St Joseph), Page (St Matthew), South Tuggeranong (Holy Family in Gowrie, Sacred Heart Church in Calwell, and St Clare of Assisi School in Conder), South Woden (St Augustine in Farrer and Sacred Heart in Pearce), Waniassa (St Anthony of Padua), Watson (Holy Rosary), Weston Creek (St Jude in Holder and St John Vianney in Waramanga).
  2. The Coastal Deanery covers the South Coast with parishes located in Batemans Bay (St Bernard), Bega (St Patrick in Bega, St Columba in Bemboka, St Joseph in Candelo, Star of the Sea in Tathra, and All Saints in Wolumla), Cobargo (Our Lady of Good Counsel in Cobargo and Our Lady Help of Christians in Bermagui), Moruya (Sacred Heart in Moruya and The Pines in Tuross Head), Narooma (Our Lady Star of the Sea), and Pambula (Our Lady Star of the Sea in Eden, St Peter in Pambula, St Joseph in Merimbula, St Joseph in Wyndham).
  3. The Monaro Deanery covers the Monaro with parishes located in Bombala (Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Bombala and St Joseph in Delegate), Cooma (St Patrick in Cooma, St Mary in Adaminaby, St Andrew in Nimmitabel, All Saints in Numeralla), Jindabyne (St Columbkille in Jindabyne, John Paul II Ecumenical Centre / Mary MacKillop Chapel in Thredbo, St Joseph in Berridale, Our Lady Star of the Sea in Dalgety, St Thomas in Moonbah, and Our Lady of the Snow in Perisher), and Michelago (St Patrick in Michelago, All Saints in Bredbo, and St Patrick in Jerangle).
  4. The Northern Deanery covers the Southern Tablelands with parishes located in Braidwood (St Bede), Bungendore (St Mary), Crookwell (St Mary in Crookwell and St Peter in Binda), Goulburn (Ss Peter and Paul and Our Lady of Fatima on Goulburn, St Bartholomew in Collector, St Patrick in Marulan, and St Laurence O'Toole in Spring Valley), Gunning (St Francis Xavier), Queanbeyan (St Raphael and St Gregory), Taralga (Christ the King), and Yass (St Augustine in Yass and Our Lady of the Rosary in Wee Jasper).
  5. The Western Deanery covers the South West Slopes with parishes located in Adelong (St James in Adelong and St Mary in Batlow), Ardlethan (Our Lady Help of Christians in Ardlethan and Sacred Heart in Ariah Park), Barellan (St Therese), Binalong (St Patrick), Boorowa (St Patrick), Bribbaree (St Columba in Bribbaree and St Brigid in Quandialla), Cootamundra (Sacred Heart in Cootamundra, St Mark in Muttama, St Joseph in Stockinbingal, St Columba's Wallendbeen), Grenfell (St Joseph), Gundagai (St Patrick in Gundagai, Our Lady of Sorrows in Gobarralong, and St Patrick in Adjungbilly), Jugiong (St John the Evangelist), Lake Cargelligo (Our Lady of Lourdes in Lake Cargelligo, St Isadore in Tullibigeal, and St Kevin in Rankin Springs), Murrumburrah (St Anthony in Harden), Tumut (Immaculate Conception in Tumut, St Paul in Talbingo), Temora (Sacred Heart in Temora and St Joseph in Barmedman), Ungarie (St Joseph), Weethalle (St Patrick in Weethalle and St Bernadette in Tallimba), West Wyalong (St Mary), and Young (St Mary in Young, St Columbanus in Wombat, and Sacred Heart in Murringo).


The Canberra – Goulburn archdiocese has been the scene of a series of sexual abuse cases[14][15] which have come to light in recent years and have also extended to many regional Catholic jurisdictions, both in Australia and around the world.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ B. Maher, The Catholic communities of southern New South Wales, Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society, 11 (1989), 18-32.
  2. ^ a b "Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn". The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church. 19 February 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e "History". St Christopher’s Cathedral Parish. 2008. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  4. ^ a b c "St Christopher's Catholic Cathedral". Organ Historical Trust of Australia. 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  5. ^ D. Flannery, In pursuit of a Catholic Cathedral for Canberra: a history of the 'Cathedral Hill' site, Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society 24 (2003), 31-43.
  6. ^ "St Christopher's Roman Catholic Cathedral". Heritage walks. The Twentieth Century Heritage Society of NSW Inc. 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  7. ^ "Religion: Chif's chair". Exhibitions: Building a new life. National Museum of Australia. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  8. ^ "Development planned for Canberra cathedral precinct". CathNews. Australia. 29 June 2010. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  9. ^ "Precinct planning picks up pace". Catholic Voice. Australia. 2010. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  10. ^ "Church to appeal heritage listing". ABC Canberra. Australia. 13 July 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  11. ^ Johnston, Elizabeth (2000). "O'Brien, Eris Michael (1895–1974)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  12. ^ Maher, Brian (1993). "Cahill, Thomas Vincent (1913–1978)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  13. ^ "Parishes and Priests". Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn. Archived from the original on 25 August 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  14. ^ "Marist Brother pleads guilty to assaulting boys". ABC News. Australia. 21 February 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  15. ^ "Colleges settle sex abuse cases". ABC Canberra. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2009.

External links[edit]