Capuchins in Australia

A history spanning over 180 years in Australia

The history of the Capuchin friars in Australia can be loosely divided into four stages:

1833-1878 Individual Capuchin friars working in Norfolk Island, Windsor, Parramatta, Port Melbourne, Sandringham, Adelaide, and Eyre peninsula. They found their assignments through Vatican Congregation De Propaganda Fide, at that time responsible for evangelisation and staffing of mission countries with priests.

1879-1927 Elzear Torreggiani OFMCap was appointed Bishop of Armidale (NSW) and was accompanied by six other Capuchin friars. Over the years another 15 friars ministered in the Armidale diocese and one in Rockhampton (QLD). There were no Capuchin friars in Australia from 1928-1944.

1945-1981 After World War II, at the request of the Archbishop of Brisbane, Capuchin friars were invited to work with the increasing number of Italian migrants. The permanent implantation of the Capuchin friars in Australia was also a central goal of this mission. On 17th September 1981 the Capuchin presence in Australia was officially classified as the Province of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

1982-2011 Consolidation of the presence of the Capuchin friars in Australia took place.

2012 - A new phase has commenced with what is called among the Capuchin friars, Fraternal Collaboration between Circumscriptions, in which long-term contracts have been signed with the Capuchin friars of St Thomas, Kerala, India and  St Anthony, Goa, India. This has allowed us to expand out presence and establish two more fraternities, one in the parish of South Melbourne and the other at Dutton Park, Brisbane, taking on pastoral care of the parishes of South Brisbane, Dutton Park and West End. It is also a phase when we are giving fuller expression to our Capuchin charism of outreach and service to the poor and marginalised.

Next: Capuchins in Australia - Prior to World War II