Jeremiah O’Flynn

Jeremiah Francis O’Flynn (1788 – 1831) Catholic priest
Simple but impulsive, Jeremiah O’Flynn managed to conflict with authority wherever he went, yet his clash with the Colonial Office helped to publicize the needs of Catholics in New South Wales and to influence the British government in 1820 in allowing the first official Roman Catholic missionaries to be sent to Australia.

Jeremiah O’Flynn sailed in the Duke of Wellington and arrived at Sydney on 9 November 1817. He told Governor Lachlan Macquarie (pictured) that he had permission to
oflynn serve as a priest in the colony, but since he had no proof Macquarie ordered him to leave in the same ship, feeling that he might incite the lower orders of Catholics to resist the government.

By promising not to carry out his functions as a priest O’Flynn persuaded the governor to allow him to remain until he heard from London. He may have genuinely believed that his mission would be officially sanctioned, but meanwhile he did not keep his pledge, for he performed many baptisms and marriages as well as celebrating Mass secretly in private homes.

Macquarie had suspected O’Flynn’s story, and when he began to hear of many converts being made to Catholicism and when the Catholic soldiers of the 48th Regiment petitioned that O’Flynn be allowed to stay, Macquarie again ordered him to leave, arrested him and placed him forcibly in the David Shaw. He sailed on 20 May 1818, though four hundred free Catholics and some leading Protestants petitioned Macquarie to allow O’Flynn to remain. When he reached London in November he again appealed to Bathurst for permission to go to New South Wales, but was again refused.

Simple but impulsive, Jeremiah O’Flynn managed to conflict with authority wherever he went, yet his clash with the Colonial Office helped to publicize the needs of Catholics in New South Wales and to influence the British government in 1820 in allowing the first official Roman Catholic missionaries to be sent to Australia.
http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/oflynn-jeremiah-francis-2521

http://www.catholicenquiry.com/about-cec-items/the-journey-of-the-catholic-church-in-australia.html

Reverend Jeremiah O’Flynn and Governor Macquarie
http://www.historyservices.com.au/resource_material_Roman_Catholic_Church_OFlynn.htm

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