Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Third Archbishop of Sydney, b. at Leighlinbridge, Ireland, 16 Sept., 1830; d. at Manly, Sydney, 16 Aug., 1911. He was the only son of Patrick Moran and Alice Cullen, sister of Cardinal Cullen. Of his three sisters, two became nuns, one of them offered her life to God in care of cholera patients whom she nursed, and died the last victim of the plague in Ireland. Both his parents died before his eleventh year. He left Ireland in 1842 to pursue his studies in Rome. His "Acta Publica" in universal theology was so masterful as to gain for him the doctorate by acclamation. Among the principal objectors was Cardinal Joachim Pecci, afterwards Leo XIII, who was impressed by the genius of his Irish student. He was appointed vice-rector at the Irish College , and also filled the chair of Hebrew at Propaganda, and was some time vice-rector of the Scotts College. In 1886 he was appointed secretary to Cardinal Cullen , and professor of Scripture at Clonliffe College. He founded the "Irish Ecclesiastical Record". In 1869 he accompanied Cardinal Cullen to the Vatican Council, and was appointed procurator for one of the absent bishops.

Selected as co-adjutor Bishop of Ossory, he was consecrated Bishop of Olba. The diocese was distracted by dissension between the infirm bishop, Dr. Walsh, and some of his priests and people. Dr. Moran ruled with a firm yet benign hand, and his episcopate was fruitful of much spiritual and temporal advancement in the diocese. He established many religious institutions. At Callan was founded the Convent of St. Brigid's Apostolic school, which has blessed with the missionary spirit so many distant lands. He introduced the Sisters of Mercy also into the Irish workhouses, and transformed those dens of misery into homes for the indigent and poor. He established industrial schools for boys and girls under the guidance of the Sisters of Charity, and was the pioneer in that grand network of child industrial training which has since become the pride of Ireland. He completed the chancel of and adorned the Killkenny Cathedral, added a new wing to St. Kiernan's College, and founded the public library and archæological society. He always defended the rights of people and championed Home Rule. He knew Ireland and loved her deeply. He was consulted by W. E. Gladstone prior to the introduction of his Home Rule Bills, and his knowledge of commercial, industrial, and economic conditions was a source of wonder to the prime minister, who ever afterwards cherished for him a profound respect and affection. His great diplomatic skill secured for him the confidence of the Irish hierarchy, and he represented then in many of their most delicate negotiations with the Holy See. Thought the Benjamin of the episcopate, he was selected as one of the secretaries to the first national synod of Maynooth. The Brief of Dr. Moran's translation to Sydney was issued 21 March, 1884. In the archbishop's farewell audience with Leo XIII, it was evident that the intrigues of parties, the interference of government agencies, and the influence of high ecclesiastics had made the matter almost impossible of decision by Propaganda. In the presence of others the Holy Father said clearly: "We took the selection into our own hands. You are Our personal appointment." In his first outward journey he drew up that spiritual program which gave such a colouring to his after life. "I must esteem nothing save the service of the Redeemer, everything else is besides my mission; Ich dien [I serve] in its highest meaning must be my motto . . . . To do the will of my Divine Master must be my life, my light, my love, my all."

In 1886 he travelled 2500 miles over land and sea, and visited all the dioceses of New Zealand. In the following year he traversed 6000 miles to consecrate Dr. Gibney at Perth. In subsequent years he went to Ballarat, Bathurst, Bendigo, Hobart, Goldburn, Lismore, Melbourne, and Rockhampton for the consecration of their respective cathedrals. In 1908 he revisited and dedicated the cathedral of Auckland, and in the last year of his life he again covered 6000 miles to consecrate Dr. Clune Bishop of Perth. He consecrated fourteen bishops, ordained nearly five hundred priests, dedicated more than five thousand churches, and professed more than five thousand nuns. The thirty-two charities which he founded in the city of Sydney remain as the crowning achievement of his life. As a statesman he forecasted the necessity of Australian federation, an Australian navy, and an Australian citizen soldiery. By sheer force of character he pressed these questions on the public mind, and lived long enough to see a Federal Labour Ministry remodelling the class legislation of past centuries and equitably evolving the rights of the working classes, the first unit of an Australian navy patrolling Australian waters, and the first 100,000 Australian youths called into disciplinary camps. Rt. Rev. Dr. Hoare, Bishop of Ardagh, was first named to assist Cardinal Moran in the administration of the Archdiocese. He was unable to leave Ireland, and Rt. Rev. Dr. Higgins was appointed auxiliary bishop, March, 1889. He was transferred to the see of Rockhampton on 4 May, 1899, and now occupies the see of Ballarat. On 20 July, 1901, Dr. Kelly, director of the Irish College, was appointed auxiliary, cum jure successionis, and succeeded the cardinal at his death. A quarter of a million people witnessed the funeral procession through the heart of the city of Sydney. By permission of the State Government and of the municipal authorities he was interred with the pioneer priests in his beloved St. Mary's Cathedral.

Among his works may be named: "Monasticon Hibernicon"; "Spicilegium Ossoriense"; "Memoir of Oliver Plunkett"; "Persecutions of Irish Catholics "; "Lives of the Archbishops of Dublin "; "Life of David Roth"; essays in "Dublin Review"; "Irish Saints in Great Britain"; "Birthplace of St. Patrick"; "St. Bartholomew's Massacre"; "Father Mathew"; "Our Primates "; "Civilisation of Ireland "; "Church and Social Progress"; "Acta Sancti Brendæ"; "History of the Catholic Church in Australasia"; "Reunion of Christendom"; "Capital and Labour"; "Mission Field in the Nineteenth Century"; "Patron Saints of Ireland : Patrick, Brigid, and Columbkille"; "Lives of Sts. Canice and Carthage"; "Mission of the Catholic Church "; "Divine Credentials of the Church "; "Discourses on Cardinals Newman and Manning"; "The Anglican Reformation "; "Rights and Duties of Labour"; "Blessed Thomas Moore"; " Catholics and Irishmen "; "Catholic Democracy"; "The Thirteenth Century"; "Infallible Authority of the Church "; "Perpetuity of the Church "; "The Apostolate of St. Patrick"; "Australian Federation"; "Heritage of Blessings in the Catholic Church "; "Christopher Columbus"; "Fruits of Redemption "; "Discovery of Australia " etc., "The Beginnings of the Catholic Church in the United States". from unpublished documents.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:32--5:8
32 Be generous to one another, sympathetic, forgiving each other as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the wicked and does not ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:10-17
10 One Sabbath day he was teaching in one of the synagogues,11 ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 24th, 2016 Image

St. Anthony Mary Claret
October 24: Claretian archbishop and founder. Anthony was ... Read More