A visit by Archbishop Polding to the Factory…6th June 2014

The Factory at Parramatta had its share in the joyful celebrations which marked the return of Archbishop Polding to his Archdiocese. For some time the Sisters had been preparing a number of women and children to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. When it was announced that His Grace was about to honour with his presence their miserable abode, the greatest excitement prevailed, all anxious to accord their distinguished visitor the reception worthy of his exalted dignity as far as lay in their power.

With the consent and even encouragement of the authorities, a raised platform was erected at the end of the long stone corridor, within view of all. On this was placed at a temporary altar, an improvised throne for the Archbishop. Overhead was an arch decorated with evergreens and ferns, while all around were pinned scrolls painted in many colours by willing, if clumsy artists.

His Grace was assisted by Fathers Bennison and Coffey, who, since the departure of Dr Ullathorne, had acted as chaplains to the Gaol. The loving heart of God must have been touched by the simplicity of these unfortunate souls of His, degraded in the eyes of the world and in their own, yet not lost to His love.

One of the women, possessed a good deal of native talent, wishing to perpetuate the memory of this great event, endeavoured to reproduce it in embroidery. The only materials available were grey calico and coloured worsted.

From the Annals of the Sisters of Charity