Roman Catholic Diocese of Wagga Wagga

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Diocese of Wagga Wagga
Dioecesis Corvopolitanus
St Michael's Cathedral (Church Street view).jpg
St Michael's Cathedral, Wagga Wagga; consecrated in ca. 1859
Country Australia
Territory Riverina regions of New South Wales
Metropolitan Archdiocese of Sydney
Coordinates 35°06′26″S 147°22′21″E / 35.10722°S 147.37250°E / -35.10722; 147.37250
Area 62,160 km2 (24,000 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 1999)
Increase 206,000
Increase 62,000 (Steady 30.1%)
Parishes Steady 31
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Latin Rite
Established 28 July 1917
Cathedral St Michael's, Wagga Wagga
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Christopher Prowse
Metropolitan Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP
Emeritus Bishops Gerard Joseph Hanna
Catholic Diocese of Wagga Wagga

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Wagga Wagga is a Latin Rite suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Sydney, established in 1917, covering the Riverina region of New South Wales in Australia.

St Michael's Cathedral is the seat of the Catholic Bishop of Wagga Wagga. On 12 September 2016, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Gerard Hanna due to health and age concerns and appointed Christopher Prowse to be the Apostolic Administrator.


Bishops of Wagga Wagga[edit]

The following individuals have been elected as Roman Catholic Bishop of Wagga Wagga:[1]

Order Name Date enthroned Reign ended Term of office Reason for term end
1 Joseph Wilfrid Dwyer 14 March 1918 11 October 1939 8 years, 235 days Died in office
2 Francis Augustin Henschke 16 November 1939 24 February 1968 28 years, 100 days Died in office
3 Francis Patrick Carroll 24 February 1968 25 June 1983 15 years, 121 days Elevated to Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn
4 William John Brennan 16 Jan 1984 5 February 2002 18 years, 20 days Resigned and appointed Bishop Emeritus of Wagga Wagga
5 Gerard Joseph Hanna 5 February 2002 12 September 2016 16 years, 250 days Retired due to reaching age 75 and due to ill health and appointed Bishop Emeritus of Wagga Wagga
6 Christopher Prowse 12 September 2016 present 2 years, 31 days


Located in Johnston Street, Wagga Wagga, St Michael's Cathedral is a large Gothic Revival styled sandstone cathedral built in two stages. The foundation stone of the first stage of the building comprising the nave and tower base, was laid on 26 April 1885. Completed between 1885 and 1887, the parish church was commissioned by Father Patrick Dunne and designed by architects Tappin, Gilbert & Dennehy, of Melbourne. The woodwork and carpentry was completed by Charles Hardy. In 1918, when the diocese was erected, St Michael’s became a cathedral.[2]

The second stage followed, that commenced in 1922 and completed in 1925. The architect was W. J. Monks, and the overall construction cost was £34,894. The imposing building was constructed from sandstone, of cruciform plan with clerestoried nave and lofty tower placed to the left of the main façade. In addition, the building consists of side aisles, porch, chancel, sacristy, chapel, and gallery. Roof framings are exposed timber internally and sheeted with slates externally. Walls are rock faced ashlar generally with dressed window and door surrounds and mullions. Internally the altars contain some finely crafted marble pieces and large stained glass windows in groups of three, giving a soft filtered light. A feature of the cathedral is the massive tower bell weighing 17 long hundredweight (1,900 lb; 860 kg) cast in the factory of Byrnes, of Dublin. The marble high altar was brought from Carrara, Italy and has subsequently been removed.[2]

George Fincham built a two-manual organ of 10 speaking stops for St Michael's Church in 1887. This was removed in 1892 and installed in the Chapel of St Peter at the Church of England Grammar School, Melbourne. The present organ, installed on the rear gallery in 1999 by Laurie Pipe Organs, was built by Samuel Lewis, an employee of George Fincham, who was his first apprentice as far back as 1864 and his first foreman, it is thought for the Dorcas Street Presbyterian Church in South Melbourne; it originally had two manuals and 17 speaking stops. It was installed at the Presbyterian Church, Denbigh Road, Armidale, in 1911 and in 1939 the mechanical action was converted to tubular-pneumatic by C.W. Andrewartha, who supplied a detached console. The casework with its carved transom rails, may also date from this time. The instrument was rebuilt in 1975 by Laurie Pipe Organs who converted the manual actions back to mechanical, electrified the pedal and stop actions, provided a new attached drawstop console, and supplied new Mixtures to the Great and Swell, a Trumpet 8 ft, and the pedal upperwork.[3] In 2011 it was given a small overhaul by Darrell Pitchford. The front facade pipes were changed to silver and the stop mechanisms and pipes were cleaned and adjusted.

Parishes in the Diocese of Wagga Wagga[edit]

^1. In 2009 Jerilderie became incorporated to the Darlington Point. Parish Administrator Rev Fr Anthony Dunne was appointed until the appointment of Rev Fr Blaise Kurek. Despite sharing a priest, Jerildierie is listed as a separate parish[citation needed]


Listed below are schools in the diocese along with their attributed parish. The diocese is split into four areas, and each school is sorted accordingly below.

Wagga Wagga Region Schools[edit]


  • Saint Joseph's Catholic Primary School-Cathedral, Central Wagga Wagga
  • Mater Dei Catholic Primary School-Sacred Heart, Kooringal
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School-Sacred Heart, Kooringal
  • Henscke Catholic Primary School-Our Lady of Fatima, South Wagga Wagga [5]
  • Holy Trinity Catholic Primary School-West Wagga Wagga
  • Mater Dei Catholic College-Sacred Heart, Kooringal
  • Kildare Catholic College-Our Lady of Fatima, South Wagga Wagga
  • All Saints Catholic Primary School-Tumbarrumba
  • Saint Joseph's Catholic Primary School-Junee
  • Saint Michael's Catholic Primary School-Coolamon
  • Saint Brendan’s Catholic Primary School-Ganmain
  • Saint Joseph’s Catholic Primary School-Lockhart

Griffith Region Schools[edit]

  • Marian Catholic College - Griffith

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Diocese of Wagga Wagga". The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church. 21 May 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Walking tour of Wagga Wagga's historic buildings". Wagga Wagga local history. 7 September 2010. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  3. ^ "St Michael's Catholic Cathedral, Wagga Wagga". Organ Historical Trust of Australia. 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  4. ^ Catholic Diocese of Wagga. Parishes-West Wagga Wagga. Retrieved 13 of March 2018.
  5. ^ Our Lady of Fatima Parish, South Wagga. Retrieved 13 of March 2018.

External links[edit]