Church news from Wollongong, Australia and around the world


Thursday, 6 November 2008


From Wikipeadia

On 15 November 1951, Pope Pius XII announced that a new Diocese would be created from the Archdioceses of Sydney and Canberra & Goulburn. To be named Wollongong, the Diocese was officially established on 11 February 1952. Bishop Thomas McCabe was transferred from Port Pirie to become its first bishop and the historic Church of St Francis Xavier's, Wollongong, became the Cathedral. At the time of establishment, there was a Catholic population of approximately 22,000 in 18 parishes.

Whilst the Wollongong Diocese is relatively young, the churches of Campbelltown (1835), Appin (1837), Wollongong (1838), Picton (1847), Kiama (1852), Camden (1859), Shellharbour (1861), Nowra (1863), The Oaks (1865), Albion Park (1867), Bulli (1886), Berrima (1889) and Milton-Ulladulla (1890) enable us to trace our Catholic legacy back to the early times of European settlement and to the era of Archbishop John Bede Polding, Australia's first bishop.

Initially, the Diocese was composed of parishes in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Highland regions. In 1954 it was expanded to include Camden and Campbelltown and in 1975 the parishes of Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma reverted to the Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn. The boundaries of the Diocese have since remained the same. The most recently established parish is Rosemeadow (1994), which happens to incorporate the Church of Appin, the oldest continuously used Catholic Church on the Australian mainland.

Wollongong Diocese is the eighth largest diocese in Australia in terms of Catholic population (out of 33 total) and the largest non-Capital city diocese. The Diocese now ministers to 195,000 Catholics in 31 parishes, with 15 migrant chaplaincies. There are 43 Catholic schools, various youth ministries and a range of aged care, disability and welfare services together with special faith movements celebrating the good news of Jesus Christ in our local area.

Bishops of Wollongong

Thomas Absolem McCabe (1951-1974)
William Edward Murray (1975-1996) - presently Bishop Emeritus
Philip Edward Wilson (1996-2000) - presently Archbishop of Adelaide
Peter William Ingham (2001- )

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