The Founding of the Roman Catholic Church in Oceania, 1825-1850 is the first detailed and documentary history of the seminal period of Roman Catholic missionary activity. Beginning with the founding of the Prefecture Apostolic of the Sandwich Islands in 1825 there was continued development in Australia, New Zealand, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia for the next quarter century. By 1850 this vast area of the South Seas could boast of one archdiocese, eight dioceses, and eight vicariates apostolic.
This lively, dramatic narrative is told largely through the words of the participants drawn from diaries, documents, and letters found in the archives of the Vatican and several religious orders. The comprehensive tale ranges from the politics of the Vatican to sufferings on outpost islands. The focus of attention shifts from Rome to Paris, Valparaiso, Sydney, Honiara, Auckland, and many other places, in a study of men and institutions, faith and emotion, rivalries and confusions, murder and annexation, God and mammon.
Originally published in 1979, this important historical study had been out of print and virtually unavailable for many years until this new edition was completed.