Photo St Francis Xavier Cathedral St Francis Xavier Cathedral
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  History 1844 - 1860  
Cathedral ca 1863
29 September, SA Gazette advertises a meeting at Mr Philips' of East Terrace on 5 October to establish a mission in the colony.

Sunday 14 June, the first mass is said at the Phillips' home. Dr Ullathorne OSB celebrant.

22 April, Fr Francis Murphy is appointed first bishop of Adelaide.

8 September, Bishop Murphy is consecrated in St Mary's Sydney.
St Francis Xavier Cathedral ca 1863
Photograph courtesy of the State Library of South Australia, SLSA: B 61882.

Copper is discovered Kapunda 1843 and Burra 1844 making the colony more prosperous.

5 October, the Catholic church/school (St Patrick's West Terrace, first known as St Francis Xavier's) is opened.

August 8, the first pontifical high mass is celebrated in St Patrick's.

April, the foundations are laid for a church designed by Richard Lambeth.

The gold rush results in many South Australians going to Victoria, leaving SA in a depression. Lambeth goes too and never returns. He leaves no detailed drawings.

The new architect, Charles Hansom, influenced by Pugin, produces a general design. The plans take into account the poverty of the local Catholics and so are in a simple Early English style rather than a decorated Gothic Revival style. He also arranges for the construction of the building to be undertaken in three stages.

At midday on St Patrick's Day the foundation stone of the new cathedral is laid by Very Rev Michael Ryan, Vicar-General. A glass vase containing the document, coins of the present reign and copies of the Register and Times are placed in a recess made for the purpose. The lowering of the stone is supervised by G C Kingston. The stone's location remains unknown. It is of about 27 cubic feet.

Initially temporary walls enclose the ends of the building. A temporary screen divides the sanctuary from the body of the church and forms a side chapel and sacristies.

26 April, Bishop Murphy dies - less than three months before the opening of the first stage of the cathedral.

28 April, Bishop Murphy is buried - an 'inter mural' burial in the sanctuary area of the cathedral. A collection is taken up for the Murphy Bell which is cast in 1859.

11 July, the first stage of the cathedral is blessed and opened by the Vicar General, Fr Michael Ryan.

The cathedra or bishop's throne is of cedar. It is said to be from a beam brought by Bishop Murphy from the Sydney home of William Davis. In his house the Blessed Sacrament was reserved following the imprisonment and deportation in 1818 of the only priest then in Sydney, Fr Jeremiah Flynn.

8 September, Bishop Patrick Geoghegan OSF is consecrated Bishop of Adelaide.

11 November, the sanctuary end of cathedral is opened and blessed. The sanctuary, Lady Chapel (original one) and sacristy were begun in January 1859.

For the opening ceremony, the organist is Carl Linger. He is known in Adelaide as first conductor of the Adelaide Liedertafel and for his music for the Song of Australia. Fr Maurice Lencioni CP conducts the choir.

      History Overview
      Years 1844 - 1860
      Years 1864 - 1887
      Years 1892 - 1926
      Years 1930 - 1964
      Years 1971 - 1996
      Years 2000 - present
      Building Stages
      Cathedral Architecture
      Bishops and Archbishops
      Cathedral Organs
      Further Reading