Melbourne before Mannix: Catholics in Public Life 1880-1920
Paperback, 240 pages
Publication Date: September 2012
What sort of archdiocese did Dr Mannix inherit when he arrived in Melbourne in 1913, and how did he change it? This book describes the great flowering of Catholic life during the reign of Archbishop Carr, when Melbourne achieved pre-eminence among Australian Catholic archdioceses. The principal institutions, and the lay and clerical Catholics who helped achieve this leadership role, feature prominently in this narrative. In addition, Melbourne became the focal point of Irish Catholic consciousness in Australia. After decades of great stability, Mannix arrived at a time when a cascading series of world events was jolting people out of their comfort zones, and at a place which had prepared itself for the first intrusion of Irish events into Australian public life. Mannix himself was not master of events; he was on a quick learning curve, and had to rapidly adjust to a new and unfamiliar environment. He built on, but also radically altered, the way Melbourne Catholics had positioned themselves in the public square.
Patrick Morgan has written a number of books on topics where the literature, history and politics intersect, and has edited two volumes of the writings of B.A. Santamaria. He is a frequent contributor to Quadrant and other journals.