Item 66 - Circular letter from Fr Edward Nolan SJ requesting financial help in order to build the Immaculate Conception Church

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IE IJA MSSN/AUST/66

Title

Circular letter from Fr Edward Nolan SJ requesting financial help in order to build the Immaculate Conception Church

Date(s)

  • [ ] April 1868 (Creation)

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1p

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Name of creator

(10 May 1826-11 January 1893)

Biographical history

Born: 10 May 1826, Booterstown, County Dublin
Entered: 20 September 1850, Avignon, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1863
Professed: 02 February 1867
Died: 11 January 1893, Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia

by 1858 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying Philosophy
by 1859 at Vals France (TOLO) Studying Philosophy
by 1860 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying Theology
Early Australian Missioner 1866

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He collected the greater part of the funds for the beautiful Church at Hawthorn, and superintended the construction of the edifice.
For several years he was Rector at Xavier College, Kew, and also worked at different intervals at St Patrick’s, Melbourne.
He was a Priest of great energy and zeal, and his death was regretted by a wide circle of friends. He died at Hawthorn 11 January 1893.

◆ Immaculate Conception Church, Hawthorn Australia, 150 Celebration : https://www.immaculateconceptionaust.com/150anniversary https://f695c25f-f64b-42f7-be8b-f86c240a0861.filesusr.com/ugd/347de3_60d458105476441d9043f3674789a4af.pdf

Fr Nolan SJ, Founder of the Immaculate Conception Church, Hawthorn
Edward Nolan was born in Dublin on 10th May 1826. At an early age he attended college in Dublin with the intention of studying for the priesthood. He made his novitiate at Angers (France), took his degrees of theology at Louvain (Belgium), and entered the Society of Jesus on September 20th 1850.
After long and active service in teaching at different colleges in Ireland, he arrived in Melbourne in 1866, where he was assigned to teach at St. Patrick’s College, East Melbourne. On weekends he ministered to the people of Hawthorn. Here he came in contact with the redoubtable Michael Lynch who was determined to have a proper church built in Hawthorn and he had friends with wealth. In Fr Nolan he found someone who would extract it from them. With the land already donated by Mr. Lynch, fundraising plans to build a church were swung into action. Subscriptions flowed in, not only from the enthusiastic and generous Hawthorn Catholics, estimated at only 60 households at the time, but from non Catholics and from those outside the area. On this basis, the farsighted Fr Nolan planned a church to seat 1200.
Fr Nolan had little taste for set sermons in big churches, but had the quiet knack of addressing small groups in any situation. He had considerable knowledge of botany and some ability at medicine. Of engaging address, he had the knack of accommodating himself to all classes, and was equally at home in the mia-mia of the fossicker and the mansion of the squatter. He rode a horse called “Tobin”, which carried him everywhere. “Tobin” had a peculiar amble, which was a well-known warning to Catholics who were not what they ought to be. Father Nolan was a good religious man but it was his zeal, gentle piety and simplicity that won over the people of Hawthorn.
In 1871-72 Fr Nolan was sent on a begging mission to raise money for the new Xavier College to be built in Kew. He toured eastern Australia and even New Zealand, raising substantial funds and persuading many families to commit their sons to the new college. After 6 years as the first Rector at Xavier, and a short time in Sydney, he returned to Hawthorn as Procurator. Strange to say, he was never Superior of the Hawthorn community.
Even when in his declining years, he collected enough money to purchase a peal of bells to ring out across Hawthorn. When he died on January 11th 1893, from a ‘disease of the heart’ the bluestone church of the Immaculate Conception was as fitting a memorial as anyone could wish. Fr Nolan is recognized as the founder of the church, with an inscription in Latin on the front of the altar.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Edward Nolan entered the Society at Tullabeg, 20 September 1850, as a priest, where he also studied theology, was director of the Sodality of Our Lady and taught writing and bookkeeping. He was a founding father to Australia in 1866 with Joseph Dalton, taught at St Patrick’s College and performed pastoral work. During 1871-72 he toured Victoria
and New Zealand seeking funds.
He went to Xavier College, Kew, in 1878, teaching bookkeeping and being minister. He was appointed rector in 1880. and was also a consultor of the mission As rector, he was recognised as a financial manager and was experienced as a strict disciplinarian. He built the South Wing and developed the farm, hoping that the College would be self-sufficient. He shared his hobby of amateur pharmacy with the boys, and was responsible for making a clear separation of dayboys and boarders - neither group mixing except during class time.
After completing his term as rector in 1886, he spent three years at Riverview, as procurator and consultor, and he also had care of the garden and farm. From 1889-93, he was engaged in pastoral work within the parish of Hawthorn, Vic., where he was at various times, procurator, consultor, admonitor and finally, spiritual father.
He was acknowledged as a very zealous and hardworking priest, but over-absorbed in money matters. Superiors obviously made use of his financial expertise or interest, even though his accounts were not always left in the best condition. His fund raising techniques did not always please diocesan priests. One monument to him was the parish church at Hawthorn.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 1 1925

St Patrick’s College, Melbourne has just celebrated its Diamond Jubilee as a Jesuit College. It is the mother house of the Australian Mission.
On September 21st 1865, Fathers Joseph Lentaigne and William Kelly, the pioneer Missioners of the Society in Victoria, landed in Melbourne and took over the College.
On September 17th, 1866 , the second contingent of Irish priests arrived - Fr. Joseph Dalton, Fr. Edmund Nolan, Fr. David McKiniry and two lay brothers - Br. Michael Scully and Br. Michael Goodwin.

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Circular letter from Fr E Nolan SJ, Treasurer, St Patrick's College, Melbourne requesting financial help in order to build a church of the Immaculate Conception in Melbourne.

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2000

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