We would like to share with you some of the Bequest stories featured in The Southern Cross newspaper.

These articles tell the stories of people who have chosen to make a Bequest and what inspired them to do so.


Keeping bequests in the conversation

Kevin Duggan sm.jpg

Ten years after he accepted an invitation from the late Archbishop Philip Wilson to chair a new bequests committee, retired Supreme Court judge Kevin Duggan AM QC speaks about some of the challenges and achievements of the program.

Kevin Duggan admits that he had not given a lot of thought to the topic of bequests before fellow Rostrevor College alumnus Chris McCabe put his name forward as inaugural chair of the Adelaide Archdiocese Bequest Committee.

He had presided over some probate cases during his 23 years as a judge of the Supreme Court, a few of them related to “home-made” wills where the intent of the testator required considered interpretation.

But as is the case for most people, the idea of talking openly about bequests did not sit easily with him.

“It’s sensitive, in the first place, so far as speaking to the person who might be a potential donor in that there must be no pressure placed on that person, especially when quite often they might be elderly,” he said.

“And, secondly, the families often have an interest in the matter and so you have to be very careful about that too.”

Mr Duggan said he had to do “a fair bit of research” once he accepted Archbishop Wilson’s invitation to chair the committee. This included looking at what was happening in other states and institutions but he quickly discovered that the “trailblazers in all of this were the Americans”.

Click here to read more.


Dame Roma’s Catholic legacy

In our continuing series on people who have made a significant impact on the life of the Catholic community by leaving a bequest, we look at one of the State’s most esteemed women and Australia’s first female governor, Dame Roma Mitchell.

Born in 1913, Dame Roma Mitchell was brought up in suburban Kingswood by her widowed mother – her father having been killed in the First World War – and was educated by the Sisters of Mercy at Angas Street.

She then enrolled in the Law School of the University of Adelaide as part of a very small group of female students, graduated with distinction in 1934 and was admitted to the bar. In 1962 she was the first woman in Australia, and one of the first in the world, to be made a Queen’s Counsel, and in 1965 she was the first woman in Australia to be appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court.

For more information please download pdf below.

 Dame Roma Mitchell.pdf

The O'Leary legacy


The Mount Gambier Catholic Parish is fortunate to have been the beneficiary of a significant bequest from one of its beloved parishioners, Catherine O’Leary, who died in December 2008. The bequest is helping the parish to provide spiritual and pastoral care for its people. One of Catherine’s cousins, Tom Preece, of Mount Gambier, provided this brief outline of her life.

Dan O’Leary lived on the outskirts of Mount Gambier where he ran a dairy. He had five sisters, four of whom never married, and they were very generous to all, particularly to the Church and the Sisters of Mercy.  Dan used to give milk and eggs to struggling families in the district – it was in the O’Learys, to be giving.
For more information please click on the PDF below.

 The O'Leary Legacy.pdf



Fr Tom's kindness lives on

Fr Tom Horgan.jpg

Thomas Erwin Horgan was born on August 8 1915 at Mintaro in the mid north of SA and moved to Adelaide in 1918 with his family. Tom attended the Dominican school at Glenelg and later boarded at Rostrevor College.

In 1934 he commenced his studies for the priesthood at Corpus Christi College, Werribee, Victoria and then at Propaganda College in Rome.
Thomas was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Adelaide on July 27, 1941, the day on which the foundation stone for St Francis Xavier Seminary at Rostrevor was laid. From 1947 to 1951 Fr Tom was to hold the position of philosophy lecturer at the seminary.

Apart from his two years at Mt Gambier (1945-46) and his time at Victor Harbor (1981-87) his priestly ministry was centred in Adelaide.

For more information please click on the PDF below.

 Fr Tom Horgan.pdf



Antonio name lives on

Herbert Antonio and his younger sister Ethel lived all their lives on the family farm just north of Old Noarlunga. They attended Mass at Morphett Vale Church which was in the parish of Willunga until 1970 when it became a parish in its own right.

In 1970 Herbert told the parish priest of the day, Monsignor Rob Egar, that the pre-fab house in the church grounds at Morphett Vale was unsuitable as a presbytery. He said if the priest found a house he would buy it for him, hence the purchase of Number 3, Venning St, adjacent to the Church. Subsequently, the house next door was also bought through Herbert and Ethel’s generosity.
For more information please click on the PDF below.

 Antonio name lives on.pdf



Vocations legacy


Support for vocations to the priesthood is just one of the legacies of Dean Louis Michael Travers who left significant funds to the Archdiocese and other Catholic organisations when he died in 2002.

Known for his frequent praying for vocations during his lifetime, Dean Travers was a strong supporter of the Manly Union, an alumni organisation of St Patrick’s College, Manly, which was devoted to the care of priests and the encouragement of vocations to the priesthood.

This was a subject very dear to him, according to his cousin, Sr Kathryn Travers RSM, who said the Dean was always praying for vocations, particularly among the younger Travers family members, and always wanted a prayer for vocations included at family Masses.

For more information please click on the PDF below.

 Dean Travers.pdf



Fennescey name lives on

The heritage-listed Fennescey House in Wakefield St, which now houses Centacare Catholic Family Services, is a reminder of the legacy of two of the Adelaide Archdiocese’s most generous benefactors, John and Mary Fennescey.

While much of their generosity was carried out anonymously, research by Flinders University Associate Professor Peter Howell last decade revealed the full extent of their donations to the Church.

In addition to the land and building costs of Fennescey House, which opened as a diocesan building in 1941, the Fennesceys’ major donations included:

  • Purchase of the Ennis property and 2000 pounds of furnishings on Robe Tce, North Adelaide as an Episcopal residence for Archbishop Matthew Beovich;
  • Bought and donated land between St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral and Victoria Square.

For more information please click on the PDF below.

 Fennescey Name Lives On.pdf