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Queensland - Organisation

Catholic Church, Queensland (1843 - )


The Diocese of Brisbane started with the colony of Queensland in 1859. The Archdiocese now consists of 103 parishes stretching from Coolangatta-Tugun in the south, to Hervey Bay and Childers in the north, west to Gatton and east to the Redlands and the Moreton Bay Islands. The 103 parishes are grouped into 13 geographical deaneries.


The Diocese of Brisbane started with the colony of Queensland in 1859, although the Catholic Church had a presence in Queensland as early as 1843. The first Mass celebrated in Brisbane was in mid-May 1843, and was presided over by Sydney Archbishop John Bede Polding in a temporary chapel in what is now Elizabeth Street.

Polding was instrumental in founding a Mission to the Aborigines on Stradbroke Island in 1843. The first parish priests of Brisbane town were Father Hanly and Father John Kavanagh.

James Duhig was an Irish-born Australian Roman Catholic religious leader. He was the Archbishop of Brisbane for 48 years from 1917 until his death in 1965. At the time of his death he was the longest-serving bishop in the Catholic Church (1905 - 1965).



  • Byrne, Neil, Robert Dunne, 1830-1917: Archbishop of Brisbane, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1991. Details
  • Martin, Denis W, The Foundation of the Catholic Church in Queensland, Church Archivists' Press, 1998. Details

Online Resources

Prepared by: Lee Butterworth