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Vaughan, Roger William Bede


Second archbishop of Sydney, Australia; b. Courtfield, Herefordshire, England, Jan. 9, 1834; d. Ince Blundell Hall, Lancashire, Aug. 18, 1883. He was the brother of Cardinal Herbert vaughan, and of Father Bernard vaughan, SJ. Educated at downside abbey, he joined the benedictines (1854) and was ordained (1859). In 1873 he went to Australia from St. Michael's College, Herefordshire, where he had been a prior and professor. He was consecrated coadjutor with right of succession to Archbishop polding by Cardinal Wiseman, arrived in Sydney (December 1873), and succeeded to the see on Polding's death (1877). Recognizing that the Anglo-Benedictine community established by his predecessor was inadequate for the needs of the rapidly growing Irish Australian population he developed a conventional diocesan structure, dispersed the Benedictine priests to parishes, and concentrated on recruiting missionary priests from Ireland. As a brilliant orator and writer, he led the Church in a losing struggle against the secularization of education and the withdrawal of State aid to Church schools that became law in New South Wales (1880), and was a prime mover in the decision of the Australian bishops to establish their own Catholic education system. In April 1883 he visited Europe to recruit religious teachers for the Catholic schools. Two days after reaching England he died. His remains were returned to Sydney in 1946 and rest in the crypt of St. Mary's Cathedral.

[j. g. murtagh]

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