He began this work with the following explanation :
The object that I had in view in writing the history of Catholic events in Australia, was to correct the mistaken notions in the minds of many, in regard to our history, and to reduce them to something like chronological order ; and to show the wonderful progress of Catholicity in Australia in such a short time. I have been witness of many events recorded in the history. I came to the colony in the year 1835, with Bishop Polding, as an ecclesiastical student : it will soon be fifty years ago ; and I was not unobservant of what was passing. I was ordained a priest with four others, by Archbishop Polding, in the year 1843, and have laboured ever since on the Australian Mission.
|Dean Kenny 1816 - 1886.|
A carte-de-visite photograph of the 1870s.
Although not in any respect a comprehensive account of the formative years of the Church in Australia, Dean Kenny's History is nevertheless much more than a mere curiosity. Perhaps its principal value is where it records events which Dean Kenny witnessed at firsthand during the first five years following the arrival of Bishop Polding in Australia, and the inclusion in the volume of sermons and speeches of Archbishop Polding and Father William Ullathorne, the Vicar-General, which otherwise might have been lost to posterity.
As an appendix is included A Short Essay on the Aborigines of Australia. If nothing else, the inclusion of this Essay demonstrates that the culture and welfare of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia was not something ignored by the Catholic Church in the nineteenth century.
Because Dean Kenny's History is such a rare volume, we take the opportunity to include some photographs of it. AMDG.
|Title page of Dean Kenny's History.|
|Conclusion of the Preface.|
Dean Kenny was resident at Saint Leonard's in Sydney when he wrote his historical volume.
|This particular copy of Dean Kenny's History bears his autograph :|
"With the Author's Compliments John Kenny Dean."