History of the Adelaide Archdiocese

Catholicism was planted in South Australia by a small company of Catholics who had emigrated from Ireland and England. Initially, as they had neither priest nor church, they met for worship in private houses. Their first priest William Benson arrived in Adelaide in 1841. In 1842 Rome subdivided the vast diocese of Sydney, creating a diocese of Adelaide which embraced the new province of South Australia. Francis Murphy was appointed as first bishop. The first Catholic churches were built in Adelaide (1845) and at Morphett Vale (1846). The first portion of St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral in Adelaide was opened in 1858.

Written by Dr David Hilliard, Department of History, Flinders University

To read the complete story, "The Catholic Church in South Australia", download files below.

 The Catholic Church in South Australia.pdf
 The Catholic Church in South Australia (sub pages).pdf