Bishop James O'Collins, the third bishop and also from Melbourne, was 34 years of age and a priest of only 7 years when in 1930 he set about rallying the diocese for a remarkable 11 years of expansion - much of it in the expanding wheatlands around Geraldton. Notwithstanding the economic depression that lasted almost all of the decade, he saw parishes double in number, while priest numbers trebled and religious sisters reached 133. Many of the churches and schools were to Hawe's designs, culminating in the 1938 formal completion of the cathedral masterpiece.