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The Diocese of Broken Bay: foundation years.

A new community within the Catholic Church was born on 28 May 1986 when Bishop Patrick Murphy was installed as first Bishop of the new Diocese of Broken Bay. This meant that 144,000 Catholics had separated from the northern part of the Archdiocese of Sydney to form the twenty-eighth diocese of the Church in Australia. In Catholic theology they were now a 'local Church', just like the primitive Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch and Rome or the current Churches of Sydney and Melbourne. They would gather round Bishop Murphy and his clergy to be nourished by the preaching of the Gospel and the celebration of the Eucharist. Like their mother Archdiocese of Sydney they would seek to be 'a sign and instrument of communion with God and of unity among all people'. (1) To symbolise this mission they adopted the Barrenjoey lighthouse as the emblem of the diocese and the phrase Lumen Christi ('Light of Christ') as their motto.

Broken Bay Diocese was formed from the northern section of the Archdiocese of Sydney, which was the first Australian diocese and originally covered the whole continent. There were about 940,000 Catholics in the Archdiocese when it was subdivided in 1986 to create the two new dioceses of Parramatta and Broken Bay. (2) Reasons for creating the new dioceses will be examined later, but the central factor was the large population of the Archdiocese.

As noted, there were about 144,000 Catholics in the Broken Bay Diocese in 1986, making it the seventh largest of the twenty-eight dioceses in Australia in terms of population. In area it comprised the Shires of Warringah, Hornsby (with minor adjustments), and Wyong, the Municipalities of Manly, Ku-ring-gai and Willoughby, and the City of Gosford--a total area of 2763 square kilometres. Embracing the Central Coast south of Lake Macquarie, the diocese stretched south along the Pacific coast and most of the northern suburbs of Sydney. Its southern border followed a line of suburbs from Manly to Carlingford.

Thirty-nine parishes made up the diocese at its foundation. These belonged to three geographic regions: the Peninsula, containing thirteen parishes from Avalon to Manly; the North Shore, with nineteen parishes from Chatswood north to Arcadia and Berowra; and the Central Coast's eight parishes from Gosford to Toukley. Nearly all parishes are close to waterways, such as the Pacific coast and the Hawkesbury and Lane Cove Rivers.

Pre-history in the Archdiocese of Sydney

To explain the beginning of the Diocese of Broken Bay we need to examine its prehistory within the Archdiocese of Sydney. John Bede Polding osb came to Sydney in 1835 as vicar apostolic (missionary bishop) for all of Australia. By 1842 he had the title of ArchNshop of Sydney, but his diocese covered most of Australia. Meanwhile, the first Catholics were settling at Brisbane Water and we have a record of Fr John McEncroe celebrating the first Mass in 1838 at Kincumber at the home of Thomas Humphreys. It was on land donated by Thomas Humphreys that the first Catholic church in the area was built--Holy Cross Church in 1843. Brisbane Water was then listed as a separate mission district in the Archdiocese of Sydney.

Between the Hawkesbury River and Sydney Harbour Catholic development was a little slower. For the first seventy years of settlement in Sydney there was no resident priest or parish for the scattered Catholic population between Sydney Harbour and Brisbane Water. Then in 1856 Archbishop Polding established the North Shore Mission and appointed Fr Peter Powell, an Irishman from Clare, as the first resident priest. A small wooden church was quickly built at North Sydney (then called St Leonard's). This was the beginning of a formal Catholic community in the North Shore region.

How does this 1856 event link to the Diocese of Broken Bay? North Shore Mission extended from Sydney Harbour north to the Hawkesbury River and from the Pacific coast to roughly the Lane Cover River. Fr Powell was responsible for a mission which would supply most of the parishes in the eventual Broken Bay Diocese.

But these were slow in developing. When Cardinal Moran, the third Archbishop of Sydney, died in 1911 there were still only four parishes in the Broken Bay region: Gosford (covering the Brisbane Water area), (3) Manly Parish formed in 1867, Pymble in 1889 and Chatswood in 1910. Settlement of the area was relatively slow because of the terrain, particularly the water barriers of Sydney Harhour, Middle Harbour and the Hawkesbury River, which severely impeded travel to the city. Major development occurred in the 1880s when the railways were built, as well as important bridges over the Parramatta River at Meadowbank and over the Hawkesbury at Brooklyn. By 1890 there was a continuous rail link between Sydney and Newcastle and a branch line from Hornsby to North Sydney.

The railways attracted settlers, so that most new parishes formed in the next few decades were close to railway stations: Gosford (1888), Pymble (1889) (4), Chatswood (1910), Wyong (1914), Waitara (1916) and Epping (1916). All these were formed from the two original districts of North Shore and Brisbane Water. Then the parishes of Pymble and Chatswood were themselves subdivided to form the parishes of Naremburn (1916), Waitara (1916), Willoughby (1918) and Pennant Hills (1928).

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Further transport developments encouraged settlement: tramways in the 1890s on the Lower North Shore and the Manly Peninsula, bridges linking the Peninsula to the North Shore in 1926 and the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932. But the Great Depression and World War II were limiting factors and so only five new parishes were formed between 1928 and 1945. It had taken one hundred years to form the first seventeen parishes of what would be the Diocese of Broken Bay.

Parish development accelerated after World War II with a further twenty-two parishes established in three decades. Several factors contributed. First was the rapid growth of the Catholic population of the Archdiocese of Sydney from about 300,000 in 1946 to about 940,000 in 1986. (5) Although we don't have regional totals for the northern section of the Archdiocese, parish estimates indicate significant growth. Along with this was a relative abundance of priests available to staff the new parishes. Cardinal Norman Gilroy, Archbishop of Sydney from 1940 to 1971, encouraged and directed this growth of parishes, which he hoped would meet the needs of the growing population.

As parishes developed they built their infrastructure of churches, schools and presbyteries. There was no direct State Aid for schools or churches and so funding and sometimes labour had to be provided by the community. Therefore, when St Gerard's Parish, Carlingford, began in 1963, parishioners cleared a block covered in lantana and blackberry briars and provided labour to build the first church and school. (6) Asquith parish, under the inspiration of Fr Laurie Cruikshank PP, formed a company in 1971 to build their new St Patrick's Church, which would seat 500. Heading the company was Neville Brown who arranged rosters for about 150 volunteers working seven days a week. Its cost of $120,000 was half the original estimate. (7) The burgeoning Chatswood parish between 1950 and 1970 completed its main Church of Our Lady of Dolours, built new churches in east and west Chatswood, expanded the Christian Brothers High School, rebuilt the parish primary school and helped to establish a new girls school, Catholic Girls Regional High School. (8)

Such efforts were common through the 'Broken Bay' parishes in the 1960s and 1970s. In fact twenty-one parishes built new churches between 1960 and 1985. When the new diocese began in 1986, eight parishes were fifteen years old or less and were still in an establishment stage. Moreover, most parishes had stable or increasing populations and none could be seen to be in the 'urban decline' mode of some inner city parishes of the Archdiocese. (9) This pattern of stability or growth has continued in the Broken Bay parishes up to the present.

We should also record the contribution of various organisations in developing the Catholic Church in the region. Most important were religious congregations, who established many schools and various welfare institutions. Nearly all the Catholic schools of the later Broken Bay Diocese were founded in the 20th century by religious congregations and most of them by three groups: the Good Samaritan Sisters, the Sisters of Mercy and the Christian Brothers. The spirit or ethos of these and other religious congregations helped to shape Catholic life in the parishes before 1986. Likewise the St Vincent de Paul Society, a lay organisation with branches in many parishes, provided extensive services for the needy.

Thus a vibrant group of parishes had developed in the north of the Archdiocese of Sydney over a century. Similar development was occurring in the south and west of the Archdiocese. This expansion led to moves in the 1970s to divide the Archdiocese and create new dioceses. We will now look at the process by which the Diocese of Broken Bay came into being.

Towards a new diocese

The original Archdiocese of Sydney had included most of the continent, as noted earlier. In the mid nineteenth century it was cut back to roughly the area of metropolitan Sydney. Since then there had been little reduction of the boundaries, except for the creation in 1951 of the Diocese of Wollongong, which removed a number of southern parishes.

But by 1970 there was strong pressure for further subdivision. In 1966 there were 740,000 Catholics in the Archdiocese, more than the total population of the eight other dioceses of New South Wales. Moreover, Sydney's Catholic population was increasing very quickly, having doubled in 25 years. (10) The Archbishop coped with the increase by creating many new parishes and by appointing more auxiliary bishops, but these had limited authority and there was no retreating from the fact that Cardinal Gilroy was the head pastor for the whole Archdiocese of over 200 parishes.

Another stimulus for new dioceses came from Second Vatican Council of 1962-65. Its Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church (Christus Dominus) (11) set out the responsibilities of bishops and looked at the conditions in which they might best carry out their responsibilities. One condition was the size of the diocese:
 The size of the diocesan territory and the number of its
 inhabitants should as a general rule be such that on the one hand
 the bishop himself, assisted perhaps by others, is able to duly
 exercise his pontifical functions and carry out his pastoral
 visitations in it. He should also be in a position to control and
 co-ordinate effectively all the apostolic activities in his
 diocese, and especially to know his priests and all the religious
 and laymen who are involved in diocesan activities. (12)


With 740,000 Catholics in Sydney in 1970 it was hardly likely that the Archbishop could 'carry out his pastoral visitations' with sufficient frequency. So discussion of a division of the Archdiocese was occurring both in Sydney and Rome.

In 1968 the Senate of Priests of the Archdiocese of Sydney, a group of senior parish priests, petitioned Cardinal Gilroy for an investigation into the division of the Archdiocese into several dioceses. (13) The issue was also being looked at by the Australian Bishops Conference which maintained a Committee for the Revision of Dioceses and Provinces. In 1971 this committee was looking at proposals for new dioceses in several states. The large Archdiocese Melbourne might be divided into three dioceses (Melbourne, Geelong and Dandenong). (14)

No action was taken by Cardinal Gilroy, who was soon to retire after three decades as Archbishop. In 1971 his successor, Archbishop James Freeman, received a letter from Rome--from Cardinal Rossi, head of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, which had jurisdiction over the Australian 'mission' area. Rossi declared that Pope Paul VI wanted new dioceses to be created in Sydney.
 Your Grace,

 ... His Holiness has decided in principle, on May 24th last, that a
 new ecclesiastical set-up [sic] in New South Wales should be
 arrived at...

 I would ask Your Grace to give your pondered opinion on the
 following two projects:

 Erection of two new Dioceses: Parramatta and Chatswood.

 Erection of three new Dioceses: Parramatta, Liverpool, Pymble.

 This project would tentatively result as follows: Sydney: 119
 parishes, 268 priests, 1 500 000 inhabitants. Parramatta: 47
 parishes, 91 priests, 550 000 inhabitants. Liverpool: 23 parishes,
 46 priests, 413 000 inhabitants Pymble: 29 parishes, 50 priests,
 430 000 inhabitants.

 Very devotedly yours in Our Lord
 Agnelo Card Rossi, Pref.


Archbishop Freeman's reply to Rossi was prompt and optimistic:
 I should have the suggested boundaries in your hands next month. I
 most respectfully suggest that the new Bishops will be appointed as
 soon as possible after that. (15)


The practicalities proved to be more difficult, as the Archbishop soon received objections to Rossi's recommendations. Thirteen years would pass before the Archdiocese submitted a proposal to the Vatican.

Archbishop Freeman in July 1972 set up a Sydney committee (mainly of priests) to recommend whether and how the Archdiocese should be divided. (16) Although the committee met fortnightly in 1972 it made slow progress towards an agreed model. Some members favoured immediate division into dioceses. But by late 1972 there was growing support for a proposal to keep the Archdiocese intact and to administer it in regions. However, there was disagreement on the number of regions (or dioceses), ranging from three regions to as many as eight. The debate dragged on and in 1977 the committee submitted to Archbishop Freeman a majority recommendation that the archdiocese should be divided into 'a number of separate but interdependent dioceses'. The majority wanted seven dioceses; others wanted four. (17) Again quite different from the 1986 outcome.

Archbishop Freeman, nevertheless, decided on the regional option. He announced that there would be five pastoral regions, each with an auxiliary bishop. Forty-five parishes north of Sydney Harbour made up the Northern Region which would be under the care of Bishop Thomas Muldoon, and this region would be very similar to the eventual Broken Bay Diocese. While Archbishop Freeman would have ultimate authority, Bishop Muldoon would oversee areas such as Youth Welfare and Social Welfare in the region.

This Northern Region then operated from 1978 to 1986, with Bishop Thomas Muldoon as the first Regional Bishop until 1982, while based at Mosman parish. He was a colourful, outspoken and sometimes controversial churchman who could perhaps be seen as the unofficial first Bishop of Broken Bay. Illness eventually caused him to retire as regional bishop on 6 September 1982, although he continued for some months as parish priest of Mosman. (18) Archbishop Freeman also retired in 1983.

The new Archbishop of Sydney was Edward Clancy, who soon took the view that dioceses were required and by August 1984 had decided on the permanent division of the Archdiocese into three dioceses. In a private paper he declared that the regions had been a 'remarkable success', but only 'up to a point', because the regions had gained an identity of their own and were tending to 'fragment' the Archdiocese. (19) At the Australian Bishops Conference in May 1985 he won approval for the creation of the new dioceses and then took the submission to Rome. (20)

Meanwhile, the Northern Region had been without a Regional Bishop for over a year. In early 1984 Archbishop Clancy transferred Bishop Patrick Murphy from the Inner Western Region to the Northern Region. (21) The new Regional Bishop did not move in as a parish priest, in the manner of Bishop Muldoon. He rented quarters in Wahroonga, first at 49 Hampden Avenue and from 1986 at Mt Alverna, the former Franciscan monastery. He later declared that the earlier creation of the Northern Region was 'a sort of working model' for the transition to the new diocese:
 The regional division I think worked quite well and prepared the
 way for the subsequent division. [Though] I used to find towards
 the end it was getting a bit embarrassing, because you'd be at Mass
 and they'd be praying for 'Patrick our bishop' when it was 'James
 our bishop'. So I think that was probably a spin-off--you were
 around in every parish all the time, doing Confirmations and people
 did identify with you. (22)


Foundation of the Diocese of Broken Bay

On 8 April 1986 Pope John Paul II signed the Decree which established the Diocese of Broken Bay. (23) As Bishop Murphy put it, 'the diocese was conceived on that day and born on 28 May' (when he was installed as first bishop) (24)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

A number of important decisions are embodied in this papal decree. The new diocese would contain thirty-eight parishes out of the old Northern Region of the Archdiocese and the parish of Epping from the Inner Western Region. However, seven well-established parishes of the Northern Region (Beauty Point, Lane Cove, Mosman, Neutral Bay, North Sydney, Clifton Gardens, and Lavender Bay) remained in the Archdiocese. (25) The name 'Broken Bay' had been agreed to by Bishop Murphy and the Archbishop and then submitted to Rome. It was unusual in the sense that it refers to a region, whereas a diocese is customarily named after the town or city of its cathedral. In the Vatican decree, which was in Latin, the name Broken Bay was given as sinus tortuosus, meaning a 'twisted bay' or an 'intricate bay'. (26)

Also on 8 April 1986 the Pope announced that Patrick Murphy would be first bishop of the new diocese. In Church understanding Bishop Murphy was a successor of the Apostles, pastor, teacher, priest and 'minister of governance' of his diocese. (27)

Born in 1920 at Eastwood and educated in Sydney, Patrick Murphy was ordained as a priest in 1944. He then studied in Rome and Ireland for five years, gaining a Doctorate in Theology. Returning to Sydney in 1949 he spent the next twenty-six years as a teacher at St Patrick's College Manly, interspersed with about four years as a parish priest. He was consecrated as an auxiliary bishop in Sydney in 1977. The next year, when the Archdiocese of Sydney was divided into regions, he was given responsibility for the Inner Western Region, which stretched from Stanmore to Parramatta. Besides these regional responsibilities he had also been President of St Patrick's College Manly in 1977-78, Chairman of the Sydney Archdiocesan Catholic Schools Board, a member of the Archdiocesan Adult Education Board, and Chairman of the Catholic Education Commission of NSW.

Establishing the infrastructure

Bishop Murphy now had to oversee the foundation of the new diocese. This was a major operation. A new leadership had to be established, responsibilities undertaken and an identity created.

First he had to create a central administrative team or Curia, as required by Canon Law. The initial Curia consisted of Fr Noel Carroll as Vicar General, Christopher Searchfield as Diocesan Secretary, and a clerical assistant, Adrienne Wentzel. (28) Assisting him too was a Council of Priests elected by the clergy and a Diocesan Finance Committee.

A major responsibility for Bishop Murphy was the 43 diocesan schools and their 12,000 pupils inherited from the former Archdiocese. (29) Previously they had been in the system of Archdiocesan schools administered by Catholic Education Office, Sydney. These schools had been in the Northern Region of the Archdiocese and under the care of the Regional Director, Br Norman Hart fms, who had established a small regional office in a former convent in High Street, Willoughby. Final authority, however, had remained with the Executive Director of the Archdiocese at the central office in Leichhardt.

There were some who thought this arrangement could continue with the new diocese--a combined office for areas such as finance, payment of salaries, building, and in-service provision. For Bishop Murphy, however, the notion of a combined office was out of the question, because he believed it would weaken the sense of identity of Broken Bay Diocese. He was blunt about this:
 As far as I am concerned--no!--because the Church is not a
 multi-national company with branches. Each diocese is an autonomous
 unit within the Church, bound to the Church ... That was one of the
 reasons I would have been opposed to [a combined Schools Office];
 given the identity of the diocese and the autonomy of the diocese,
 the schools system is surely an integral part of that operation.
 (30)


He was resolved on a separate Schools Office and had no hesitation in choosing Br Norman Hart as first Director of Schools in 1986. Br Norman had been a principal of two schools of the Marist Brothers, a member of various Catholic and government educational committees, and most recently had been Regional Director for the Northern Region schools in the Archdiocese.

And so after a transition of six months the Catholic Schools Office of Broken Bay Diocese began operations in February 1987 in the old Northern Region premises at Willoughby. The initial staff consisted of about ten professional and secretarial personnel. (31)

Two other important organisations created in the diocese in these early years were the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) and Centacare Broken Bay.

The obligation of the Church to provide religious education to Catholic children in government schools had been accepted in the Archdiocese of Sydney when it set up of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine in 1960. This was a group of catechists, lay people mostly and some religious sisters and brothers, who would give a weekly lesson in Christian doctrine to children in government schools during school hours.

At least thirty per cent of Catholic children of the new Diocese of Broken Bay were attending government schools. Bishop Murphy in 1986 decided to form a separate CCD. Fortunately the area contained nearly seven hundred catechists from the previous Archdiocese. Each of the thirty-nine parishes had a catechist group and these were further grouped for purposes of liaison and support into four regions. (32) It was also fortunate that Fr Carol Grew, who had been CCD Director in the Archdiocese until 1984, was in the new diocese as parish priest of Mona Vale. Fr Grew agreed to Bishop Murphy's request that he become the first CCD Director in Broken Bay Diocese. So the new organisation was quickly in place.

Centacare Broken Bay also had its origins in the Archdiocese of Sydney--in the Catholic Family Welfare Bureau, which had developed after World War II. During the 1970s the Catholic Family Welfare Bureau had adopted the name Centacare. Meanwhile, the newly developed Mercy Family Life Centre, based at Waitara, was meeting many of the welfare needs on the North Shore.

As regards social welfare provision, Bishop Murphy continued to use the services of the Archdiocesan Centacare under its Director, Fr John Usher. But he wished to set up a separate Centacare organisation for Broken Bay Diocese and asked Jim Grainger to become Director of the new organisation.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Jim Grainger had been a priest in the Archdiocese and was well known for his work for youth. He left the priesthood in 1979, gained an Honours degree in Psychology and worked for some years as a government community research officer. He began his work as leader of Centacare in 1988 in the disused tuckshop of Our Lady of Dolours Primary School, Chatswood. Centacare Broken Bay has since grown into a large and complex service organisation with six offices spread across the diocese.

While the above account indicates that diocesan infrastructure was in place by 1988 at the level of personnel and organisations, it was located in rented, scattered and makeshift offices. During 1988 Bishop Murphy set about building more adequate diocesan offices and a bishop's residence. The site chosen for the Curia and Schools Offices was at 29 Yardley Avenue, Waitara. It was a central and convenient site in the diocese, close to the Pacific Highway and to Waitara Station, and adjoining a complex of Catholic Church properties, which included the church, two schools and the Mercy Family Life Centre. (33) The new offices were paid for by parish levies and occupied in November 1988, without any official blessing and opening. Bishop Murphy insisted that 'we weren't into trumpet blowing then; we just had to get started'. (34)

By the end of 1989 the Diocese of Broken Bay was clearly a separate diocese, independent of the old Archdiocese of Sydney. Bishop Murphy had a functioning Curia, Schools Office, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine and embryonic Centacare. These were consolidated at the new Diocesan Office at Waitara. His cathedral and residence were in Corpus Christi Parish, St Ives. He would continue as Bishop until 1996 and be succeeded by Bishop David Walker.

This article has focussed on the first few years of the diocese and on diocesan structures emerging at this time. A more comprehensive account would trace the development of these organisations and would include other important groups and activities in the life of the diocesan community. Just for the episcopate of Bishop Murphy the list would be extensive: the Diocesan Tribunal formed in 1990 (dealing mainly with marriage questions); the distinctive sacramental programme grouping the sacraments of Confirmation, Penance and first Communion; the continuing ministry and influence of many religious congregations in parishes, schools and community welfare; Bishop Murphy's relations with various religious congregations; community welfare provision through the Mercy Family Centre, the St Vincent de Paul Society and the new Centacare; ecumenical gatherings in the diocese; (35) and the role of the diocese within the wider Australian Church and community. (36)

Future comparative studies could also aid our understanding of the beginnings of the diocese. A fruitful comparison would be with the Diocese of Parramatta. Both were established in 1986; Bishop Murphy retired in 1996 and Bishop Heather in 1997. There were differences in geography and demographics, with Parramatta having a larger proportion of Catholics in its total population. Early diocesan structures appeared to be similar, but the different organisations began to develop their own character. Here the leadership styles of the bishops and leaders of the main diocesan agencies are relevant. For instance, it would seem that Bishop Murphy exerted a more centralising, 'hands-on' role than did Bishop Heather in the areas of schooling and welfare provision.

Conclusion

A new community within the Catholic Church has grown up in Sydney's north since 1986. Comprising 25 per cent of the total population, it is a significant religious sector in the area (although lower than the 29 per cent of Catholics in the whole of New South Wales). The rate of growth of the Catholic community has also been rapid--an increase of 22 per cent since 1986 (as against a 13 per cent growth of the general population). (37)

What difference has the creation of the new Diocese of Broken Bay made? Would the people of Broken Bay have been better off staying in the Archdiocese of Sydney? After all, the Archdiocese Melbourne has never been divided since the 1880s and now has a million Catholics.

We cannot give a blanket answer, because the benefits and disadvantages will vary with individuals. However, it is clear that the division has brought benefits.

Without the division, the people of Broken Bay would have stayed in an archdiocese of over one million Catholics, with very restricted opportunities for meeting with their archbishop. The bishops at Vatican I! had advised that a diocese should be of a size such that the bishop would be able to 'control and coordinate effectively all the apostolic activities in his diocese, and especially to know his priests and all the religious and laymen who are involved in diocesan activities'. (38) In a diocese of 191,000 it has been much easier for Bishop Murphy and Bishop Walker to move around and meet the people, for the clergy and other leaders to know one another and work together, and for the people to gain a sense of the whole diocese. To assist each bishop a broad but unified leadership group has evolved and promoted diocesan initiatives in areas such as community welfare, school and adult education and ecumenism. Such developments may not be original in the Australian Church, but they have brought new expressions of older initiatives and organisations to the Broken Bay region. In all this the new Diocese of Broken Bay has forged its own identity distinct from that of the Archdiocese.

(1.) Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, [section] 1, in Austin Flannery, ed., Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents. Costello Publishing Co., New York, 1988, p. 350.

(2.) Figures from Official Directory of the Catholic Church in Australia 1985-1986, E.J. Dwyer, Sydney, 1985, p.340--hereafter DCCA. These statistics were for 1985 and there was no Directory for 1986-87, so the population was probably somewhat greater in 1986 when the Archdiocese was divided.

(3.) As mentioned above the 'Brisbane Water Mission' began in 1842 at Kincumber. In 1888 it became Gosford parish with its headquarters now at Gosford. In 1947 a separate parish of Kincumber was established. See John Dawes, Towards the Future: A History of Kincumber Parish and Holy Cross Church, Holy Cross Church, South Kincumber, Bi-centennial Preservation Society, Kincumber, 1991, pp. 109-110.

(4.) Pymble became a separate parish in 1889 with Fr Michael McNamara as parish priest. It was then called 'Lane Cove, Gordon--St Peter's Church'. In the DCCA 1894 it becomes 'Lane Cove, Gordon--Sacred Heart Church'.

(5.) DCCA, 1946 and 1985-86.

(6.) Mary C Frater, The Birth of a Parish, Carlingford, n.d., pp.9-13

(7.) 'St Patrick's Asquith', Silver Jubilee booklet 1976.

(8.) Joan Newman Antarakis, Changing Names, Changing Faces, Lacova Pty Ltd, Sydney, 2001, ch.10.

(9.) The parish of Naremburn may be an exception. The parish school at Naremburn was closed in 1986 because of declining enrolments, but recent demographic surveys suggest a revival of demand.

(10.) DCCA, 1972 (with figures from 1966 Commonwealth Census).

(11.) In Flannery, Vatican Council H, pp.564-90.

(12.) 'Christus Dominus' [section] 23, Flannery, Vatican Council II, p.577.

(13.) From Senate of Priests files held by Fr Les Cashen, accessed in 2002. The meeting was on 15 February 1968.

(14.) See letter of Monsignor Albert Thomas to Archbishop Freeman, 13 December 1971, file C3210 [later as D1102], Sydney Archdiocesan Archives (SAA). Thomas was secretary for the committee.

(15.) Freeman to Rossi, 10 December 1971, file D 1102, SAA.

(16.) File C3210 [material later moved to D1102], SAA

(17.) Fr C J Keller to Archbishop Freeman, 5 May 1977, ibid.

(18.) Bishop Muldoon next retired as Parish Priest of Mosman in 1983. He died on 13 January 1986.

(19.) Archbishop Clancy, 'The Creation of New Dioceses within the present Archdiocese of Sydney', 15 August 1984--paper for private circulation in the Archdiocese, Box 5, Diocese of Broken Bay Archives (BBA).

(20.) Minutes of Australian Episcopal Conference, May 1985, Minute 101.

(21.) See Catholic Weekly, 1 February 1984, p.2.

(22.) Interview with Bishop Murphy 4 June 1999

(23.) Decree of Erection 8 April 1986, in file 'Broken Bay--Erection as a Separate Diocese'. Box 3, BBA. The Pope also announced the decision to found the Diocese of Parramatta.

(24.) Interview with Bishop Murphy 4 June 1999.

(25.) Why was this, considering that they were all on the northern side of Sydney Harbour, which would have made a simple geographical boundary? Bishop Murphy suggested that it was in deference to the wishes of those parish communities. He thought there was a 'consensus' that the municipalities of Mosman, North Sydney and Lane Cove 'would look towards Sydney'. Interview 4 June 1999.

(26.) Professor Athanasius Treweek of the University of Sydney Latin Department had suggested sinus sinuosus but Vatican officials changed this to sinus tortuosus. Letter from Bishop Murphy, 3 August 2003 and interview with Brian Croke 27 September 1999.

(27.) Can. 375.

(28.) Adrienne Wentzel began her duties on 30 July 1986 and has worked in the Curia continuously to the present.

(29.) There were also nine congregational schools in the diocese, for which religious congregations were responsible.

(30.) Interview with Bishop P Murphy 4 June 1999.

(31.) No list is available, but this figure was indicated by Norman Hart to the author on 12 March 2000.

(32.) See Report of Fr Robert Dixon (CCD Director), 1986, CGM, BBA.

(33.) The following account of developments in Our Lady of the Rosary Parish Waitara is based on information in 'Waitara Parish' file, BBA.

(34.) Interview with Bishop Murphy 4 June 1999.

(35.) Bishop Murphy had hoped to establish a Diocesan Ecumenical Committee but reflected that there 'was no good rushing in' (Interview 17 June 1999). The Commission was established by Bishop Walker in 1998.

(36.) A more comprehensive treatment can be found in J. Luttrell, A New Light in the East: A History of the Diocese of Broken Bay 1986-2001, The Diocese of Broken Bay, Sydney, 2005.

(37.) Diocese of Broken Bay, Going Forward Together: Diocesan Pastoral Plan, 2001, p. 8.

(38.) 'Christus Dominus' [section] 23, in Flannery, (ed.), Vatican Council H, p 577..

John Luttrell fms teaches Church History at the Catholic Institute of Sydney and the Broken Bay Institute. In 2002 he was commissioned by Bishop David Walker to write a history of the Diocese of Broken Bay--A New Light in the East (2005).
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Author:Luttrell, John
Publication:Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jan 1, 2008
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