The Catholic Church, a worldwide Christian organisation led by the Pope, arrived in Tasmania in 1821, having had Irish believers in Australia since 1788. The Church established and ran a number of children's Homes in Tasmania.
The Catholic Church became established in Tasmania, then Van Diemen's Land, in 1821 with the arrival of Father Philip Connolly. At the time, about one third of the population was Roman Catholic. Most of them were convicts, or former convicts, from Ireland.
For most of Tasmania's history the proportion of Catholics to other religions has only been about one fifth. Even so, Catholicism has been influential, with various orders establishing schools, including ragged schools in poor areas, hospitals, aged care homes, hospices, and children's Homes. The Homes were: St Joseph's Orphanage, the Magdalen Home, Boys' Town, and the St Vincent de Paul Boys' Hostel.
Sources used to compile this entry: Howell, PA, 'Catholicism', in The companion to Tasmanian history, Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies, 2005, http://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/C/Catholicism.htm.
Prepared by: Caroline Evans
Created: 12 January 2011, Last modified: 18 November 2014