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Our History

It all began in 1887

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Lismore is a suffragan Latin Rite diocese of the Archdiocese of Sydney, established in 1887, initially as the Diocese of Grafton, and then changed to the current name in 1900.

The Cathedral of St Carthage’s was commissioned by Bishop Jeremiah Doyle, circa 1890. Designed in 1892 by Herbert Wardell (the son of notable Anglo – Australian architect and civil engineer William Wardell), the cathedral is modelled in gothic revival style. The foundation stone was laid in 1892 and construction began in early 1904, with the sanctuary, transepts and nave completed by mid-1907 when the first liturgical mass was held. A public appeal was held to raise £2,000 for the peal of twelve bells from Dublin, that were installed in the bell tower by 1911. A large pipe organ completed the project and in 1919, with all debts dissolved, St Carthage’s Cathedral received its solemn dedication by the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Cattaneo.

In 2007 the cathedral was seriously damaged by hail storms in the region.An appeal to restore the cathedral commenced in 2007, with initial plans to construct the spire initially designed by Wardell. However, when commissioning the works in 2009, the main focus of the project was on roof slates, stained glass windows, and lead downpipes; with completion of the stone steeple ruled out


‘The joy of love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church.’

Pope Francis