Catholicism in Australia
It is interesting to note the warranted rejoicing of the Catholics in the Commonwealth of Australia, during the recent Golden Jubilee of Federation, on account of the religious progress made during the past fifty years. Catholics number 22.3 percent of the eight million inhabitants of Australia. This represents an increase from three-quarters to a million-and-a-half Catholics. During this period the number of diocesan priests increased from 660 to 1700; priests in religious orders from 238 to 886; schools from 3,947 to 12,500; with the same relative increase in the number of Brothers and Sisters devoted to education. There has also been a threefold increase in the number of Catholic hospitals, orphanages, and other charitable institutions. This is a wonderful record for the Land Down Under which was a British penal settlement during the Orange reign of terror in Ireland within which Mass was prohibited and Catholics were forced to attend Protestant services.