Academic journal article Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society

Patrick Colbourne. Bishop Elzear Torreggiani: An Instrument of Peace: The Life and Times of a Capuchin Friar, the Second Bishop of Armidale

Academic journal article Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society

Patrick Colbourne. Bishop Elzear Torreggiani: An Instrument of Peace: The Life and Times of a Capuchin Friar, the Second Bishop of Armidale

Article excerpt

PATRICK COLBOURNE. Bishop Elzear Torreggiani: An Instrument of Peace: The Life and Times of a Capuchin Friar, the Second Bishop of Armidale. Nelen Yubu Missiological Unit, Sydney, NSW, 2004; 368 pages.

This book is a remarkable story of the life and times of a Capuchin Friar, Bishop Elzear Torreggiani. It gives a wonderful insight into a man appointed against his wishes to a vast and geographically diverse territory stretching from the North Coast to the North West of New South Wales.

Bishop Elzear Torreggiani would feel proud that such a book has been written about his life. He was a humble man and as the author, Patrick Colbourne, states in his preface: 'Bishop Torreggiani did not see himself as making history and kept no personal diary and so primary sources are scanty.' Patrick Colbourne overcame this problem by travelling extensively to consult archives in Holland, Ireland, England, Bologna, Ancona and Australia. Not only did he research vast records but also interviewed many people involved in history, education, archives, libraries and diverse religious orders.

Bishop Torreggiani was a man of the people and travelled widely throughout his diocese, some 46,000 square miles in all. The vastness meant that it took some three years before the Bishop completed his first visitation. The author relates these travels in fine detail but also provides us with the names of thousands of those people, Catholic and non-Catholic, whom Torreggiani met in these communities. Consequently the book will prove to be a significant research tool for those interested in local and family history. …

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