The Catholic Church in Australia is part of the worldwide Catholic Church. Catholicism arrived in Australia with the convicts and soldiers of the First Fleet in 1788, although the first Catholic ceremony was conducted by French explorer La Perouse. Catholic Mass on Australian soil was first conducted in 1803 and the foundation stone for St Mary's Cathedral was laid in 1821. The Catholic Church is organised into regional archdioceses led by Archbishops, local dioceses led by Bishops, and individual parishes, led by priests. A number of male and female religious orders work within the Catholic Church in Australia, reporting to both the Bishops and the leaders of their orders.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 9 May 2014, Last modified: 7 October 2015