Right Reverend Monsignor Peter Joseph CoynePrint Page Print this page

Peter Joseph Coyne
Peter Joseph Coyne

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The headstone over the grave commemorates the first priest of the Leongatha Catholic Parish, the Right Reverend Monsignor Peter Coyne who died in 1934. 

On Wednesday, September 19 last, one of Victoria's noble pioneer priests, the Right Rev. Mgr. P. Coyne, died at his home in the presbytery Leongatha. He was 70 years old, and had been identified with the work of the Sale diocese for 44 years. Born in Co. Mayo, Ireland, Patrick (sic) Coyne was trained for the priesthood at Maynooth College. He came out to Australia shortly after his ordination and was appointed to the diocese of Sale, his first charge being at Warragul. The Catholic people of Gippsland in those days lived far apart, and he was often obliged to make long journeys on horseback through uncleared bush country in the service of his scattered flock.
In 1901, when Leongatha was made a parish, he became its first resident priest. He built a presbytery and church there, and was also instrumental in the erection of churches at Meeniyan, Fish Creek and Inverloch, which form part of the Leongatha parish. Appointed Dean and Vicar-General by the late Bishop Phelan, he became Vicar-Capitular at his death, and governed the parish until the appointment of the present Bishop. He was created a Domestic Prelate to his Holiness by a Papal Brief of May, 1932. Genial, great-hearted and hospitable, Mgr. Coyne possessed the affection and loyalty of his brother priests, as well as of the laity; and his death will be deeply regretted by the whole Catholic body of Victoria.
His Grace the Archbishop of Melbourne, Most Rev. Dr. Mannix, presided at the Solemn Office and Requiem Mass in the Church of St. Laurence O'Toole, Leongatha, on Friday morning, September 21, and his Lordship the Bishop of Sale, Most Rev. Dr. R. Ryan, C.M., and his Lordship the Bishop of Sandhurst, Most Rev. J. McCarthy, were also in the sanctuary. Among the large body of priests present from the Archdiocese of Melbourne and the diocese of Sale were: Right Rev. Mgr. J. Lonergan, Adm.; and Very Rev. J. Barry, C.M., Superior of the Vincentian Fathers, Malvern. The Solemn Office was chanted by the choir of priests, with Rev. Frs. J. P. Carney. T. B. Walsh, F. Conlon and L. Godwin as cantors; and the Lessons were read by Rev. P. J. Gibbons, P.P.; Rev. F. Conlon, P.P.; and Right Rev. Mgr. J. Lonergan. The celebrant of the Requiem Mass was Very Rev. P. M. O'Donnell, Adm. (Sale), with Very Rev. R. Buckley, P.P. (Warragul), deacon, and Rev. T. F. O'Sullivan, P.P. (North Melbourne), sub-deacon. Very Rev. J. J. Gillanan, P.P. (Maffra), was master of ceremonies. His Grace the Archbishop gave the final absolution at the catafalque. The crowded congregation was representative of all parts of the diocese, and visitors from other centres were also present.

A special vault was prepared immediately in the church grounds and there the last remains of the revered pastor were laid to rest. His Grace the Archbishop officiated assisted by their Lordships the Bishops of Sale and Sandhurst and the large number of priests. The people who were so deeply attached to Mgr. Coyne stood sorrowfully around the grave and last prayers were said. The emotive scene is likely to be remembered by the children of St Joseph's school who were at the burial. 
Advocate (Melbourne), 27 September 1934. 


Address:Ogilvy & Brumley Streets, St. Laurence O`Toole Catholic Church, Leongatha, 3953
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.478992
Long: 145.953052
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

Pray for the soul of the Right Reverend Monsignor Peter Joseph Coyne

Vicar-General of Sale 

Appointed first Parish Priest of Leongatha
October 1901

Died 20th September 1934
Aged 70 years


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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