'When John F. Kelly was called to his vocation as a priest in 1928, Australia was still staunchly British and Catholics were a minority, confined to the margins of professional and business life, and shackled by their Irish past. This remarkable Australian priest foresaw the day that the Australian Church would no longer be Irish, when Catholic teachings on social justice would be widely debated, and when Catholic women would demand equality.
'An impressive scholar, John F. Kelly was always in the vanguard of new ideas. As a leader in education, theology and history, he left a mark in many fields. He wrote the first Australian Catechism in 1962, the handbook by which the postwar generation were to live the Catholic life. He was a standard bearer for Vatican II, and taught hundreds of young couples about the Catholic approach to marriage in his famous pre-Cana weekends. As director of the Catholic Education Office in Melbourne, he helped transform the crowded parochial system into a well-managed network of schools.
'This biography of Monsignor John F. Kelly mirrors the trajectory of Catholic thought through the twentieth century. It is a reminder that earlier generations of Catholics also found themselves in opposition to church hierarchy, while remaining obedient to the core Catholic teachings.' (Publisher's blurb)