Archbishop James DuhigPrint Page
Statue of Archbishop James Duhig who was the Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane for 48 years. The statue was unveiled on the centenary of St Brigid`s Church where Archbishop Duhig performed the dedication ceremony on August 9th 1914.
Sir James Duhig KCMG (1873 – 1965) was an Irish-born Australian Roman Catholic religious leader. He was the Archbishop of Brisbane for 48 years from 1917 until his death in 1965. At the time of his death he was the longest-serving bishop in the Catholic Church (1905–1965).
On 10 December 1905, he became the youngest bishop in the Catholic Church when he was ordained Bishop of Rockhampton. On 26 February 1912, he was transferred to Brisbane, where he became the Co-Adjutor Archbishop to the elderly Archbishop Robert Dunne. On 13 January 1917 he succeeded as Archbishop of Brisbane, a position he held for 48 years until his death in 1965.
In the early years of Duhig's ecclesiastical provinciate, his archdiocese took on an extensive building program, including churches, hospitals and schools, erecting more than 400 buildings, earning him the nickname of "Duhig the Builder".These buildings are a prominent feature of the Brisbane landscape to this day.
|Address:||78 Musgrave Road, St Brigid`s Church, Red Hill , 4059|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -27.457275|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Monument Designer:||Kathy McLay|
|Actual Monument Dedication Date:||Sunday 10th August, 2014|
The youngest son and one of seven children of John and Margaret Duhig, James Duhig was born in County Limerick, Ireland on the 2nd of September 1871. Economic conditions in Ireland forced the family to immigrate to Australia in 1885 where they settled in Lutwyche and young James completed his education with the Christian Brothers at St Joseph`s College, Gregory Terrace. In 1891 he was sent to Rome to study for the priesthood ; there he cultivated a love for art and literature and developed a vision which went beyond the colonial horizon he had left. Duhig was ordained a priest in 1896 and returned to Brisbane the following year where he was appointed curate to the sprawling Ipswich parish. In 1905 Father Duhig was transferred as administrator of St Stephen`s Cathedral, but in December of that same year, at the age of only 34, he was appointed Bishop of Rockhampton.
In 1912 it was announced that James Duhig would return to Brisbane as coadjutor Archbishop to the ailing Robert Dunne. Soon after alighting from his train the new Coadjutor Archbishop travelled to this site to lay the foundation stone of the ambitious St Brigid`s Church. It was the beginning of a plan that changed the face of Brisbane. Over the next fifty years Archbishop Duhig blessed and opened over 400 major buildings, many built on the top of the numerous hills which surrounded the city of Brisbane. This policy of intentionally acquiring the predominant building sites allowed Duhig the opportunity to create a very visible Church and Catholic education system.
When he was nominated to Rockhampton in 1905 by Pius X, Duhig was the youngest Roman Catholic bishop in the world. When he died, under the pontificate of Paul VI, he had been the longest in office - just a few months short of sixty years. To have led his Church for so long, and been a leader in his State, made him a shaping influence on his community.
To mark the centenary of the arrival of James Duhig to Brisbane, which coincided with the blessing and opening of this church, the Jubilee Parish commissioned artist Kathy McLay to sculpt a reflective Archbishop contemplating his long life of service and achievement. The statue was blessed by Archbishop Coleridge at the conclusion of the Centenary Mass on Sunday, August 10th, 2014.