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Patrick Francis Moran

1830 – 1911

Patrick Francis Moran (1830-1911), orphaned at 11, was sent from his native Ireland to Rome, where a relative was rector of the Irish College. By twenty-five he spoke ten languages, ancient and modern. In 1853, by which time he was developing an interest in Australasian affairs, he was ordained priest. On his return to Ireland in 1866 he was appointed professor of Hebrew and Scripture at Holy Cross College and he also taught at the Catholic University of Ireland. Having become already non-resident vicar-general of Maitland, New South Wales, in 1866, he was made a bishop in the early 1870s. In 1884 he was appointed Archbishop of Sydney; less than a year after his arrival he was made a cardinal-priest in Rome. From his twenties onward Moran published extensively on all aspects of Irish Catholic history. In the 1880s he presided over the construction of St Patrick's seminary at Manly, to which he contributed his accumulated manuscripts, books and museum pieces. He travelled indefatigably in Australia and New Zealand in the discharge of his duties, dedicating ten cathedrals and in twenty years laying eighty-eight foundation stones for churches and schools; he consecrated his greatest project, St Mary's in Sydney, in 1905. At the same time, he returned often to the Northern Hemisphere on business. He was a proponent of Federation, but failed to win a place on the New South Wales delegation to the Convention

Updated 2018