Sandpiper: May - July 2020

SANDP I PER | JULY 2020 21 that the first Bishop of Sandhurst, Most Rev Martin Crane ever lived at Genazzano; rather, he resided at the Bishop’s Palace adjacent to St Kilian’s Church and he died there in 1901. Rate records indicate that Stephen Reville occupied Genazzano from at least 1890 until the time of his death in 1916. Reports in the ‘Bendigo Advertiser’ and the ‘Bendigo Independent’ show that Reville hosted open days and picnics as fundraisers for the Sisters of Mercy and other religious orders during this era and regularly hosted prominent visitors such as Archbishop Carr and Bishop Mannix of Melbourne. Advertisements of November 1899 stated that the purpose of one garden party was to ‘raise funds to paint and decorate the chapel at the Convent of Mercy’. Genazzano’s garden and grounds were described as ‘beautifully laid out with trees, shrubs and green laws so that all who participated … left behind them the unpleasant heat and dust of the city’. There are other sources that attest to Reville’s occupation of the property and the improvements he made to it, including advertisements for tenders for alterations to the house in both 1903 and 1910. Stephen Reville died suddenly in September 1916 at the Bishop’s Palace at McCrae St, after travelling there from his Kangaroo Flat home. After Reville’s death, Rev. Dean Thomas Rooney, Diocesan Administrator, managed Genazzano but it is unclear if he actually lived there. Rev John McCarthy was the Bishop of Sandhurst between 1917 and 1950. After 1920, McCarthy also lived at the Bishop’s Palace in McCrae St and there is no evidence that he ever lived permanently at Genazzano. Genazzano was described as the Bishop’s ‘country residence’. As well as using the residence for entertaining, it was used as a guest house and as an occasional retreat for the Sisters of Mercy during this period. The diocesan archive holds decorative cards, menus and invitations relating to hosted events at Genazzano during this period. During Bishop Stewart’s era (1950-1979), guests’ autographs were signed in his housekeeper’s Missal, and national and international dignitaries as well as celebrities, such as the Von Trapp Family Singers autographed the fly page of the Missal. This Missal is held in the diocesan archive. Subsequent Bishops, Noel Daly, Joseph Grech, Leslie Tomlinson and the current Bishop, Shane Mackinlay have each made their home at Genazzano.