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Arch J B Polding OSB
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John Bede Polding (1794 -
Bishop Polding reached Sydney in September, 1835, and at once set to work to organize his vast diocese. He found only three priests in New South Wales and one in Tasmania; these with the three or four Benedictine monks whom he had brought with him constituted the entire force at his disposal. Then, and for many years afterwards, he worked like one of his priests, saying Mass daily in various stations, often in the convict prisons, teaching the Catechism, hearing the confessions of multitudes, and attending the sick and dying. He obtained permission to give retreats in the prison establishments, and between 1836 and 1841 no less than 7000 convicts made at least ten days' retreat under his guidance. The authorities soon realized the good effect his influence was having, and arranged that, on the arrival of every ship-
Two provincial synods were held, at Sydney in 1844 and at Melbourne in 1859; he founded the University College of St. John at Sydney and the College of St. Mary, Lyndhurst. He visited Europe in 1846-
SNOW, Necrology of the English Benedictines (London, 1883), 171; BIRT, History of Downside School (London, 1902), 169, 198, 212, 273, 326; IDEM, Benedictine Pioneers in Australia (2 vols., London, 1911); Orthodox Journal, III (London, 1834), 14; The Tablet, XLIX (London, 1877), 406, 727; Catholic Times (London, 29 March, 1877); Melbourne Argus (Melbourne, 17 March, 1877); Downside Review, I (London, 1882), 91-