John Polding

John Polding (1794 – 1877) Catholic archbishop
John Polding was a man of deep and abiding sanctity, generous and warm-hearted though not without some reserve, and a born missioner who scorned every personal hardship to bring religion to his widely-scattered and underprivileged flock. His vicariate included the whole of Australia and in time he visited nearly all its major centres.

John Polding was a man of deep and abiding sanctity, generous and warm-hearted though not without some reserve, and a born missioner who scorned every personal hardship to bring religion to his widely-scattered and underprivileged flock. His vicariate included the whole of Australia and in time he visited nearly all its major centres.

In 1839 the Weekly Orthodox Journal quoted a letter from Sydney: ‘His labors are incessant, his zeal unbounded, Protestants as well as Catholics revere him as a saint’.

On reaching Sydney Polding had seen the need far an intensive mission to the convicts and arranged with Bourke for all Catholics among the newcomers, about one-third and mostly Irish, to be put in his charge for a few days. Ullathorne later recorded that Polding took the leading part in instructing and giving the Sacraments to them; ‘it was a touching sight’, he wrote, ‘to see the Bishop with one of his criminals kneeling by his side in the sanctuary, and by word and action, instructing all through one how to make their confessions, or how to receive the Holy Communion’.

By 1841 some seven thousand convicts had undertaken these exercises. This example of pastoral care set an enlivening tone that was never absent from Polding’s episcopate, even in times of conflict with members of his flock, clerical and lay.

With capable assistance from Ullathorne, Polding established a firm administration. He consecrated St Mary’s as his cathedral and surveyed the need for more church buildings. He successfully directed J. J. Therry’s energy into the Campbelltown area, and built up other centres at Parramatta, Windsor, Maitland and Wollongong. He also became involved in the control of schools; by 1836 he had thirteen primary schools, seven for boys, six for girls, all with government support, and had begun a steady programme to build and staff others.

They never became as numerous or efficient as he wished and always provoked controversy of some kind, for colonial society was then peculiarly fluid, with settlement expanding and free immigration increasing. In consolidating his church Polding found his administrative duties a general trial and a restriction on his missionary work; more and more he came to rely on others for planning policy and organization, and gave much thought to starting an Australian Benedictine monastery that would train priests and provide culture and learning to a frontier society.

Complete article : http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A020300b.htm

also

John Bede Polding, Catholic Encyclopedia : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12201a.htm

John Bede Polding, Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bede_Polding

John Bede Polding, Google : http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&as_q=&as_epq=john+bede+polding

Men of the cloth
http://wf2dnvr6.webfeat.org/cid=11714&wfn=wf_state-lib-o-new-s-wales&sess=ISYSSESSION%3D%7B5A682A7D-105D-4B27-9EE8-458FF1C1C0FC%7D%3B%20IW_SELIDX%3Dslnsw-public&url=http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/discover_collections/history_nation/religion/foundations/ofthecloth.html

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