Rev. Michael Harrington
Freemans Journal, Sydney
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE PARISH OF HAMILTON. (By the Bishop of Maitland.) Until 1873 the City of Newcastle with the district then forming the parish of Newcastle was under the administration of the Archbishop of Sydney. In that year the first bishop of the then newly established diocese of Maitland, Right Rev. James Murray, took possession of the Newcastle parish. One of the first steps taken by Bishop Murray in the development of this growing district was the establishment of the parochial districts of Hamilton and Burwood (now called Merewether), and the building of churches in both these places. Father Michael Harrington Ryan, the Administrator of St. Mary s, Newcastle, at this time, took a particular interest in Hamilton, and he gave great assistance to Bishop Murray in obtaining the site (purchased from the A. A. Company) and building the school-church. Father Ryan himself donated five hundred pounds towards the Hamilton school-church. A few years afterwards he returned to the Archdiocese, where he died in 1887. Father Ryan was the first priest to take an interest in Hamilton, but he continued to live in New castle.