Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/276

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was that of Bishop of Auckland, a diocese that comprises the greater part of the North Island of New Zealand, and embraces within its bounds nearly the whole of the Maori population. His administration of ecclesiastical affairs was characterised by great vigour in the building of churches and the establishment of schools. Dr. Croke ever manifested the deepest interest in the spiritual and temporal welfare of the native population, and it was with the object of securing a supply of Irish priests to take charge of the Maori missions, that His Grace returned home in 1874. But Ireland would not allow one of the best and bravest of her sons to go abroad again. She kept him at home and made him Archbishop of Cashel, and, in that wider, loftier, and more responsible arena, Dr. Croke has become a trusted beacon-light to his countrymen throughout the world, a valiant defender of Irish rights, and a foremost champion of the national cause.

Besides Auckland in the far north of New Zealand, there is the diocese of Dunedin in the extreme south. This extensive district is under the spiritual supervision of the Eight Rev. Patrick Moran, a fearless prelate of the controversial order, whose voice and pen have been actively employed for more than thirty years in the defence and assertion of Catholic rights. Midway between Auckland, the old capital of New Zealand, and Dunedin, the most populous city and the great commercial centre of the colony, is Wellington, the political capital and the residence of the governor. Wellington constitutes a third diocese, which is ruled by the Right Rev. Francis Redwood, who, by general consent, stands in the front rank of the pulpit orators of Australasia.

In casting a retrospective glance at the foundation and