Explore the stunning borders and the elegant calligraphy of a selection of illuminated addresses presented to Thomas Carr during his time as Bishop of Galway between 1883 and 1886, and his early years as Archbishop of Melbourne between 1886 and 1901.
The collection is held by the Melbourne Catholic Diocesan Historical Collection.
Address from the Town Commissioners of Galway
An early address to ‘The Most Reverend Thomas J Carr, DD Lord Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh, & Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenfora', on his return from Rome:
... we are anxious and have arranged with your Lordship’s approval, to accompany your Lordship in high procession from the Railway Terminus to your Lordship’s Pro-Cathedral, there to conclude in an appropriate manner the termination of your Lordship’s arduous journey to and from the Holy City.
Signed by Chairman John Wilson Lynch, DL, and Secretary John Redington.
Address from the Confraternity of the Holy Family
An ‘Address of the Confraternity of the Holy Family, Established at St Patrick’s Cathedral. To The Most Reverend Thomas J. Carr. DD. Archbishop of Melbourne and Metropolitan, of the Province of Victoria’.
This address congratulates the Archbishop on his safe arrival in Australia:
Distant though Ireland is to this Australian Land, it is dear to many of us as it must be to your Grace, and far apart though we have hitherto lived, you are to us no stranger.
Signed by Spiritual Director Thomas Donaghy and Secretaries John AM Caffrey and Alice M Maloney.
Address from the Town Commissioners of Galway
This June 1887 address thanks Archbishop Carr for visiting their school and is signed on behalf of the pupils by John Rigg, Joseph Hogan and Vincent Fahey:
Since the day we swelled the funeral procession of our late lamented Archbishop, and shed the last tear of filial affection over his bier, as his mortal remains were lowered to their final resting place in his own Cathedral, the erection of which will hand down his name to the latest posterity; we have ceased not to offer up to the Father of Might our most fervent prayers, for a worthy successor to him, in the cause of religion and Catholic Education.
Address from the pupils of St George’s School, Carlton
Dated July 1887, this address draws Archbishop’s Carr’s attention to perceived injustices over school funding and scholarships:
We are sorry to have to draw your attention to an additional injustice which is about to be inflicted upon us by the State School System of Education of the Colony. In addition to the nine Exhibitions that have been given for many years by the State, a large number of additional exhibitions are to be offered annually, as prizes to those pupils who pass the best examination in certain subjects; but we are not allowed to compete for them, unless we become traitors to our Holy Religion, by attending State Schools.
Besides the injustice of compelling our parents to pay twice over for our education, we suffer the additional injustice of being deprived of the advantages of competing for prizes that should be open to the pupils of every school in Victoria.
Signed on behalf of the pupils by W Toohey, J Davis, F Buckley, P Shine, P Foley and A Leahy.
Address from St Augustine’s Orphanage and School
This July 1887 address thanks Archbishop Carr for visiting St Augustine’s Orphanage and School, Geelong:
We feel that we, more than many others, have reason to be glad that Your Grace has come to visit us, for we look to you as our Father and Protector, next after God. Our good Teachers have told us, that being Orphans, we claim a foremost place in your solicitude, and will be objects of your anxious care.
It is signed on behalf of the boys by TB Ryan, DL O’Toole and MX Rooney.
Address from our Immaculate Lady of Mercy’s School
The address from the pupils of our Immaculate Lady of Mercy’s School in Nicholson Street, Fitzroy, is dated 13 December 1887 and marks a visit by Archbishop Carr:
This has been a day of great happiness, and one not to be forgotten by us. It is the fourth time we have had the honor of having our holy Archbishop in our midst and a day we have been looking forward to with the natural eagerness of youth.
May we hope that your Grace is pleased with us and that we have afforded even the smallest amount of amusement. In the adjoining class-room some specimens of our handiwork are laid out for the inspection of your Grace and all kind friends.
Address from the St Joseph’s Home for Destitute Children
The Committee of the St Joseph’s Home for Destitute Children thanks Archbishop Carr for opening their new home at Surrey Hills in Melbourne on 14 December, 1890:
The difficulties attendant upon the successful establishment of an institution such as this, would have been, in our opinion, insurmountable without the Active Support, the Practical Sympathy, and the Zealous Co-operation which Your Grace has so freely bestowed at all times, and for which we are deeply grateful; it is indeed true that on all sides abound evidences of the Wisdom and Goodness of Your Grace; still, we feel that this little mustard seed, which has been so jealously fostered under Your Grace’s guiding hand, is destined to be an everlasting memorial of the attributes we have referred to, and with which Almighty God has so singularly blessed you.
Address from the Catholics of Mentone and district
This address of 29 June, 1892 thanks the Archbishop for administering ‘the Holy Sacrament of Confirmation to our little ones’:
With most fervent wishes that God may spare you to continue for many years at the helm of our Spiritual Ship to guide it to the Celestial Haven.
It is signed by Chairman James Horan, Treasurer Michael O’Neill and Hon. Secretary Chas B Counsel.
Address from the Children of Mary and Convent Schools
The page on the left is to ‘Reverend Dr Carr, Lord Bishop of Galway, Etc’ from the Children of Mary, and contains a verse.
The address on the right is from the children of the Convent Schools, St Patrick’s, on the occasion of Dr Carr’s first visit:
We respectfully ask your acceptance of the accompanying Gift, which represents, though inadequately, as well our joy as Children of the Convent Schools, as also that of the Sodality of the Children of Mary in this town and district.
Address from the Catholics of Ormond, Melbourne
Written on behalf of the Catholics of Ormond, this address welcomes the Archbishop on his first visit to the diocese. It also enlists his help in the fight against paying taxes to support state schools:
As this penal law is the only blot in the freedom enjoyed by Catholics in this bright sunny land under a free Constitution, we entertain a hope that through the able advocacy of your Grace and the other Bishops of the Colony, our rulers will recognise the justice of these claims.
This address is signed by James Hayden JP, Patrick Bourke, Michael Reidy, Daniel Clohesy and John Canny.
Address from the Sisters of Mercy School, Galway
This address from the Sisters of Mercy School is written ‘on behalf of this portion of the little ones of your flock’.
The illustration on the right shows Reverend Dr Carr, St Thomas and the Good Shepherd, with the words 'Feed my sheep, Come back to Erin’ and the date 26 August, 1886.
Address from the Geelong & District St Patrick’s Society
Another address thanking Archbishop Carr for his stance on education, this time on behalf of the members of the Geelong & Western District St Patrick’s Society, signed by President Lawrence Gittings, Vice President T Ditroy and Secretary TF Cahill:
But the fact we have as our leader that champion, whose voice, clarion like, has cheered us through the hottest of the conflict, whose flashing blade has caused so many redoubtable opponents to bite the dust, and whose heroism has converted this position into the Thermopylae of the cause, is sufficient guarantee that the flag which he has nailed to the mast, and which has so triumphantly withstood the fury of the tempest, will never be furled until the victory is gained, and we may withdraw from the contest with honor and advantage.
Addresses from the Hibernian Australasian Catholic Benefit Society of Kilmore and Academy of Mary Immaculate, Fitzroy
The first of these addresses, on the left, is from the members of the Hibernian Australasian Catholic Benefit Society of Kilmore. Dated 23 November 1901, and signed by President William Crowe and Secretary Murphy, it thanks the Archbishop for confirming a group of Kilmore children:
We regret that the number of children for Confirmation on this occasion is far smaller than on former occasions in this district. The reason of this is that under present circumstances there is no opportunity for new settlement, the issue being that migration from here is regularly taking place for many years.
The address on the right, from the pupils of the Academy of Mary Immaculate, Nicholson St, Fitzroy, is dated 19 December, 1901:
We beg Your Grace will accept this token of Our gratitude and affection, and we hope it will remind you sometimes to pray for the good Sisters of Mercy, Our Parents, and Ourselves.
Address from the Congregation of Oakleigh, Melbourne
This address commemorates a visit by Archbishop Carr to the Melbourne parish of Oakleigh:
We are also happy, that this your first visit should be for the purpose of opening a bazaar to defray the cost of a building which completes in this township our Church establishment, viz the Presbytery.
The signatories include Griffin, Moroney, Crook, Cassidy, Bates and Brennen.
Address from the Convent Pupils, Christchurch
This trans-Tasman address comes from the pupils of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions, ‘Your respectful children in JC, The Convent Pupils, Christchurch’ who:
... appreciate the great favour your Grace has conferred upon us in undertaking the long and weary journey to New Zealand to lay the Foundation Stone of our future Cathedral ...
On our part we shall pray that the work may prosper and that at not distant date a magnificent Temple may rear its dome proudly in this, our City of the Plains.
Addresses from the Society of Children of Mary, Geelong, and St Monica’s Branch of the Hibernian-Australasian Catholic Benefit Society, Footscray
The address on the left, from the Society of Children of Mary, Geelong, welcomes Archbishop Carr’s arrival in Australia:
But while we recognise the goodness of God and the wisdom of Christ’s Vicar in the appointment of a prelate whose mind and heart are so perfectly in unison with the spirit of the Church, we cannot but feel that we, Mary’s clients, ought to be thankful in the knowledge that while you are Christian and Roman you are none the less Irish ...
We, mostly Australians by birth, have inherited some spark of this Irish spirit from our parents, and that spark has been assiduously cherished and fanned into flame by the zeal and example of Irish priests.
This address is signed by President Mary Mathews, Vice-Presidents Sara Clarke and Mary Whelan, Treasurer Catherine Healey, Librarian Mary A Trait and Secretary Emilie Tuite.
The address on the right, from Members of St Monica’s Branch of the Hibernian-Australasian Catholic Benefit Society No. 171, Footscray, also welcomes the Archbishop’s appointment:
In a word, you have endeared yourself to us all, so much so that the few words that we address to you to-day cannot adequately convey the feelings of our hearts.
It is signed by President William H Carr, Vice President William Kent, Treasurer John Brennan, Past-President Francis Lander, Warden Maurice Shanahan, Guardian Joseph Kennedy, Members of Committee JW Ryan (Past-President), John Doherty PVP, James Hallinan, John Wood and Secretary Edward W Thompson.