Key Events in the Development of Christianity in Australia

Events

First Catholics Arrive

1778

The first Catholics to reside in Australia arrived with the First Fleet. They were mostly Irish convicts, together with a few marines.

First Public Mass

1803

First public mass celebrated by Father Dixon in Sydney.

First Official Priests Arrive

1820

The first official priests, Father Therry and Father Conolly, arrive.

Construction of the First Catholic Church

1821

Construction of the first Catholic Church as a permanent building in Richmond, Tasmania.

Australia's First Bishop

1834

Pope Gregory XVI appoints Father Bede Polding OSB as Australia's first Catholic bishop.

St Vincent de Paul

1854

First permanent St Vincent de Paul society established in Australia.

Founding of Sisters of St Joseph

1866

Mary Mackillop and Father Julian Tension Woods founded the SIsters of St Joseph.

Archbishop Moran

1885

Archbishop Moran appointed first Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII.

Pope John Paul II

1995

John Paul II visits Australia for the second time for Mary MacKillop's Beatification.

World Youth Day

2008

Sydney hosts the first World Youth Day in Australia.