Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/249

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235
THE CHURCH IN THE COLONIES.

When the banished Archpriest returned to Ireland, the illustrious Dr. England, Bishop of Charleston, in the United States, happened to be on a visit to his native land, and to this able and accomplished prelate. Father O'Flinn narrated the ill-treatment and the injustice he had received at the hands of the governing powers in distant Australia. Intense was the bishop's indignation at the recital of the persecution to which the good priest had been subjected, and of the grievous wrongs inflicted on the Catholic population of the colony through being deprived of the ministrations of a clergyman of their faith. Dr. England brought the case under the notice of Lord Donoughmore, then member for Cork, by whom it was ventilated in the House of Commons, with the result that the grievance under which the Catholics of the colony had so long laboured was fully recognised, and an act of tardy justice was performed by the Imperial Government in becoming responsible for the sending out to Australia of two salaried and accredited priests. The Rev. John Joseph Therry and the Rev. Philip Conolly were the clergymen who offered to devote their lives to the service of their exiled countrymen at the antipodes. Father Therry, whose long and laborious career amidst many dangers and difficulties has justly won for him the high title of the "Apostle of the Australias," was a native of Cork, like Bishop England, the Apostle of the American Church. He entered Carlow College in his seventeenth year, and had the good

    The compulsory retirement of this clergyman is the greatest, if not the only slur on the administration of Macquarie. The proceeding adopted by the authorities in forcing him to quit a community where his ministrations would have been not less valuable in a social than in a religious point of view, was the more inexcusable, inasmuch as the character and conduct of Father O'Flinn, alike as a priest and a subject, were irreproachable."-"History of New South Wales," by Roderick Flanagan, vol. i. page 215.