Justin Daniel Simonds

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Justin Daniel Simonds (1937 - 1942)

Born at Glen Innes, NSW in 1890. He was ordained a priest in 1912 and taught at the seminaries at Manly and Springwood before further study in Belgium at the University of Louvain. In 1934 He was promoted to Rector of St. Columba’s College, Springwood.   

In February 1937 Simonds's appointment as Archbishop of Hobart was announced. He was the first Australian-born Catholic priest to reach the rank of Archbishop.  He was consecrated on 6 May 1937 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, by Archbishop (Cardinal) Giovanni Panico, the apostolic delegate. 

He greatly advanced the spiritual and intellectual life of the Church in Tasmania, and brought about the establishment of Calvary Hospital in Hobart, and Nazareth House for the elderly in Launceston.

As one of the most respected prelates to lead the Church in Tasmania, all sections of the community were dismayed at his appointment as Coadjutor Archbishop of Melbourne in September 1942.  He succeeded Daniel Mannix as Archbishop of Melbourne in 1963. 

Failing eyesight troubled his later years, and he resigned in May 1967, shortly before his death in November of the same year.