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First Bishop of Perth Reinterred

Article by Bridget Spinks. Photos by Graham Hall

Bishop John Brady, the founding Bishop of Perth, was finally laid to rest in the diocese he created in St Mary's Cathedral crypt on 2 August with a Mass and Reinterment Ceremony.


PHOTO: Bishop Brady's relatives Lorna and Patrick Lavelle; Odhran O'Brien and Dr Michael Shanahan - who attended the exhumation of Bishop Brady's remains from the grave in Amelie-les-Bains earlier this year - carried in the ossuary containing Bishop Brady's remains.

Archbishop Barry Hickey concelebrated the Mass with senior clergy of the Archdiocese including Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton, Mgr Michael Keating and Mgr Brian O'Loughlin and more than 40 priests of the Perth Archdiocese.

The Sisters of Mercy and the Benedictine monks also attended the event.
Their presence in Perth is thanks to Bishop Brady's missionary zeal: the Sisters of Mercy and some Spanish Benedictines who were living in Italy in the mid-1840s were among the band of 27 missionaries Bishop Brady brought to Perth in 1846.

More than 60 students from Mercedes College - a school founded on the work the first Sisters of Mercy carried out when Bishop Brady was establishing the Diocese - formed a candlelit guard of honor as Bishop Brady's remains were carried in.
Then there was an anachronistic moment ahead of the Mass and Reinterment Ceremony when a certain "Bishop Brady" being played by Mr Noel O'Neill and dressed in a Bishop's mitre and vestments came onto the altar.

Archbishop Hickey symbolically welcomed “Bishop Brady” home and the prelates shared a dialogue on what it was like in the early days of the Perth diocese, providing the congregation with a way to appreciate the significance of the historic moment.

The remains of Bishop Brady are now in St Mary's Cathedral Crypt along with all the former prelates of Perth excluding Archbishop Patrick Clune CsSR - the fourth Bishop of Perth (1911-13) and first Archbishop of Perth (1913-35) - who is buried in Karrakatta.

Several dignitaries also attended the historic occasion including Anglican Archbishop Roger Herft; Lord Mayor of Perth Lisa Scaffidi; Minister for Heritage John Castrilli MLA and the Irish Embassy's Consul General in Western Australia, Michael Nolan.

Several members of the Farrelly family also attended who have a strong connection to the foundations of the Perth Archdiocese. Their relative Terrence Farrelly was one of the lay catechists among the 27 missionaries who accompanied Bishop Brady to Perth in 1846 and is thought be a nephew of Bishop Brady.

Photo Gallery: The story in pictures by Graham Hall