Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/97

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
83
A BIRTHPLACE OF FREEDOM.

carry on the good work that the first Bishop of Ballarat so devotedly and energetically initiated. Under the vigorous administration of Bishop Moore, the Diocese of Ballarat has become wonderfully well-equipped with all that is requisite for the active promotion of religion, morality, and Christian education.

At the consecration of Bishop Moore in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Ballarat, on April 27th, 1884, there was one amongst the number of clergy and dignitaries within the sanctuary, for whom the ceremony had a deep and pathetic interest, recalling to his memory, as it must needs have done, the marvellous days of thirty-three years before, when Ballarat was at its beginning, and when he was the first and only priest amongst its tent-living population of thousands of adventurous diggers. He had travelled a long distance to be present at the first consecration of a Bishop in Ballarat, for a generation had passed away and his eyes had not once beheld the place since he saw it in the first stage of its golden existence. This was the Very Rev. Patrick Dunne, D.D., Vicar-General of the Diocese of Goulburn, which embraces the great southern district of New South Wales. Father Dunne was the first priest who came direct from Ireland to the infant see of Melbourne. He was educated in the College of Maynooth, which has not only supplied Ireland for a century with a zealous and patriotic priesthood, but has nobly upheld the traditions of the island of saints by sending fearless missioners to preach the gospel and plant the Cross in almost every quarter of the habitable globe. Ordained a priest and appointed to a curacy in his native diocese, Kildare, during the terrible famine year of 1846, Father Dunne, in common with his brother-priests, did his duty manfully during that most trying time in the history