Kalangan Road Galong NSW

A Mission of the Redemptorists

The Castle

Galong House was called a “Castle” not because of its magnificence, but because of the princely hospitality. Ned Ryan’s son, John, became a member of Parliament and in his will left the property to the Catholic order known as the Redemptorists.

By the terms of John Nagle Ryan’s will, Galong Castle and 800 acres was bequeathed to the Cistercians of Melleray in Ireland and in the event of the monks not accepting his offer, to the Redemptorists of NSW.

Ryan’s sister, Anastasia, was to have possession of the Castle while she lived. She died on 12th July 1900. The Cistercians took a formal vote on the Galong foundation on the 25th August 1900. They voted in favour of the Australian foundation and yet three years later, they made a formal renunciation of any right to the Galong property.

Dr John Gallagher became Bishop of Goulburn in 1900 and when he was in Rome, he obtained a document from the Redemptorists in which he said the latter gave up all claim on their part to Galong. He was apparently concerned for the welfare of his diocese when both Cistercians and Redemptorists had apparently renounced the bequest.

A subsequent “friendly lawsuit” decided the question of the legal right to the Galong property. It was tried in 1914. It was ruled that the Redemptorists was a “charitable body”, that the Cistercians were not as they follow the Rule of St Benedict, which is not considered a manual of charitable conduct. Insofar as they are contemplatives, they did not come under the legal concept of a charity. Legal expenses of nearly 600 pounds were paid by the Redemptorists who laid the foundation stone of the new establishment in 1917.