Archbishop Duhig and members of the Italian community, Brisbane, ca. 1950

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Where: Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

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When: 01 January 1950

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Creator: Unidentified

Description: Archbishop James Duhig and members of the Italian community after an Italian Mass at the site of the Holy Name Cathedral crypt. The cathedral was never built.

Location: Brisbane, Queensland

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Owner: State Library of Queensland, Australia
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 7080
italians immigrations immigrants italian community church crypt statelibraryofqueensland slq queensland archbishop big group people holly name cathedral

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    • 25/Nov/2021 22:06:10

    James Duhig is a towering figure over Brisbane’s past. Queensland had a large Catholic representation in the population from early Irish migration, but also from much later migration from European, Asian, and African countries with significant Catholic traditions. Duhig’s impact was a connection between the Catholic population and his extraordinary skills as a church administrator, combined with the extraordinary length of time in his authority of Archbishop. The era of that long time also aided to the impact, when a sectarian Brisbane ethos meant that the ‘Protestant’ population could hardly ignore a powerful Catholic figure like Duhig. His background would strengthen his ties, or enhance controversy. Duhig was born in Limerick, Ireland, but had arrived in Queensland, at a young age, to be educated at the Irish Christian Brothers’ College of St Joseph’s, Gregory Terrace. Duhig then studied for the priesthood at the Urban University of Propaganda Fide. Outside of his conventional Catholic theology for the times, Duhig was influential in the acculturation of Brisbane to an overoptimistic urban development and land settlement policies. Unsurprisingly, he was also an important source of Catholic social conservatism, finding his polemic in blaming the cinema for lack of cohesion in family life and for the ‘perversion of the young’. As a brilliant statesman, as well as the church politician, he knew the art of charm. It particularly helped that Duhig was a genuine patron of the arts, having cultivated a love of art and literature from an early age. Source:

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    • 25/Nov/2021 22:13:31

    Holy Name Cathedral was a planned but never-built Roman Catholic cathedral for the city of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Designed by Hennessy, Hennessy & Co, initially in an English Baroque style inspired by St Paul's in London, it was intended to have been the largest church building of any Christian denomination in the Southern Hemisphere. James Duhig, the Archbishop of Brisbane, was the chief proponent of the project. First designed in 1925, building began in 1927 and in the 1930s services were held in the crypt chapel on the site, the only part to be built. No further construction took place, and with Duhig's death in 1965 the project lost its impetus, but was not formally abandoned until the 1970s. The archdiocese sold the site to property developers in 1985, the crypt was demolished and an apartment complex was built on the site. Today the perimeter wall along Ann Street and part of Gotha Street are all that remain, and were heritage-listed in 1992. Source:,_Brisbane

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    • 25/Nov/2021 22:18:08

    The basic problem Italian migrants are facing, in their religious life, is the fact that in Australia they find a Catholic Church which does not have the language and religious mentality and practices of the Catholic Church they left in Italy; but they find a Catholic Church which has the customs, traditions and practices of the Irish Catholic. Church. For many years, the only Significant Catholic group in Australia was the Irish. The Irish people, since their first arrival, were under the care of a sufficient number of zealous priests, sisters and brothers. From their own resources, without any government aid, they built up the parish and school system. These two institutions successfully helped transmit the Catholic faith from one generation to the next and develop the Australian Catholic Church. Source: "Australian Parishes and Italian Immigrants ' by Giuseppe Visentin