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MAY" 1. 1913
A POPULAR ECCLESIASTia
To-day the Archbishop of Adelaide, Dr. O'Reily. will complete a quarter oí a century of arduous and successful work as a prelate. Although he -«-as born, edu- cated, and admitted to the priesthood in Ireland, his Grace has spent nearly fifty years iii Atr-tralia, and lie has grown to love the Commonwealth with an affection second only to that he cherishes for the land of his birth. Indeed, his abounding patriotism is one of the leading feature- of his citizenship. The son of a military offi- cer and born in the precincts of the bar- racks, the Archbishop has always a wornt place -in h-1 heart for the army, and he las frequently displayed an intimate know- ledge of the modern campaigns of the Bri- tish -forces, added to a t keen appreciation of the skill and strategy of its mo-t pro- minent commanders. No one could be more loyal to "the flag" than lie is. or more enthusiastic in his desire that Bri- tain's greatness "may not fail through craven fear of being great.'' With all his acknowledged admiration tor "the pomp and circumstance of glorious war''-he has said that he can conceive of no more mag- nificent sight than a great army in review order-the Archbishop is essentially a man of peace. His talents and his service both lie in that direction. When he came to Australia he had spent a score of years in accumulating learning, and was a scholar of repute both on the mathematical and classical sides. He entered on the duties of a parish priest in a remote Western Australian district with the utmost cheer-
fulness and energy. His heart was in his work, and the geniality oí his nature made him universally popular, as it has done ever since, not only with the members of his-'own flock, but with those outside the pale of his church. There is a radiant good humor and a transparent sincerity about Dr. O'Reily which ensure him a hearty welcome wherever he goes. He car- ries his responsibilities lightly, and until ill health in late years restricted hi» activities he could be confidently classed among those co whom the hardest work was never too hard, nor the "longest day too long.
Although Dr. O'Reiiy peucormed his al- lotted task modestly and without thought of preferment,* his- merits early became known to his superiors. He was working in -a pioneer parish of a far-away Scale, and would have been' content to continue in that sphere of labor. Of him it might then have been "written, as Goldsmith wrote of his father, ""Remote from towns, he ran his godly race, nor e'er had changed or wished to ch_rige his place." But the Church had its eye on 'him. and before lie was 40 years or age, when the Port Au- gusta dioce-e was- established, he was chosen as its first bishop. The dignity and the power thus thrust upon him were not altogether congenial to bim, buc .he promptly obeyed the mandate and came t0 South Australia, and here he has- re- mained ever since. From the cbaige o. a parish he was promoted at one step to the oversight of an episcopate wich an area of 378,000 square miles, carrying a sparse and widely scattered population. The distances lie had to travel were enormous, and the exertion- entailed was extremely ardu- ous, while there was the added embarrassment of a heavy diocesan debt. The northern areas in tîiose d,iys were far less populous, and the people wera considerably less prosperous, than they are to-day, but the new Bishop had a .healthy detestation of debt, and he eour ageo-s-iy entered on the Herculean tank of removing the incubus. In this endea- vor he was wonderfully« successful, and he A-as rearing in the prospect of a more comfortable and le«* strenuous, time WIK-U, on the death of Archbishop Rey- nolds, he wa.« tra_slaxeil to Adelaide, and had to begin his ivork all over again.
The -toi. of the manner in which Dr. U'lteily undertook and accompli «'lied the depressing business of deere<i-*ing the im iiSen-e interest burdens and of liquidating the colossal debt of the archdiocese is well known, ile brought to bear on the problem the ability of a consummate mas- ter of finance with faith, industry, and vigor -*uch as few men po¡*«c«s. While the liabilities were being paid off the cur- rent activities of tlie CbiFn.h had to be remembered, and the-triumph won hi both directions will always redound to the honor of the Archbishop.
' Dr. O'Reily is a many-?ided m"u He is a capable .musician, a skilled engineer, a mathematician of distinction, a lcat_t-\í idaesical scholar, an e-cperienc-ed jonrnah_l. a master of English literature, a keen man oí business, and a born administrator. Withal he is as modest and umessumiti^ as in tile days of his parish priesthood, aud he is probably happier in his beauti- ful garden or among his boote tb.vn in "the fierce light" which playe upon him when he ia called upon to conduct «ome great public service. A eon«x:ientrt_-3 churchman, Dr. O'Reily ha- always dis- played an admirable catholicity of spirit. He has proved "hhnseK a good citizen, and he has supported with eqnal zeal and eai neat- ness all public movements of a patrjjtic nature. He has taken a deep interest in the cause of religious educaiion, and' he bas invariably been îeady to help those in trouble or distress. One. of "the insti- tutions in which he take» the inapt lov- ing interest is. the FuDarton Refuge, t_e doors of which arc open to everyone in need of its help, altogether irrcspectiv_ of race or creed. The e__ellen_ relation- ship which exists between flic two grea-t divisions of the Christian Church in this. f-tate is due to a large extent to tine Archbishop's broadness of mind and to his quiet determination to avoid unnecessary contrtwersy. Because of tin«, fact all classe- of the comrannjty jean heartily in eongrufci_-ating Dr. O'Reily on the at- tainment of his episcopal jubilee, and in the sincere desire that he may long b¿ spared to fill the position which he has so long and so- signally adorned