Just announced, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, aged 63, of Canberra is Archbishop-Designate for Brisbane, a promotion since Brisbane is a Metropolitan See whereas Canberra is not, and certainly a challenging diocese indeed.
His installation Mass will be on May 11.
Archbishop Coleridge's media statement
Here is the Archbishop's Statement:
"At a time in life when many are looking to retire, I have been called to take up the greatest challenge of my life. With few illusions about myself or the task that awaits me in Queensland, but with trust in the Lord who sends me, I pack my bags and head north once again.
I am heartened that Pope Benedict and others have chosen me as Chief Pastor of the Archdiocese of
Brisbane, and I am grateful to the Holy Father for the trust he has placed in me.
Until recently, I never imagined that I would be appointed Archbishop of Brisbane, following in the footsteps of some remarkable men. Faced now with the call, I feel the need for a strength not my own.
I will do my best, but that will not be enough. Yet the Lord equips those whom he sends in ways they could never equip themselves.
Therefore, peacefully and without reserve I put my life in his hands and at the service of the Church in Brisbane and Queensland. That service will be a great privilege. I am deeply grateful for the grace of my six years as Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, and I will leave with unforgettable memories of people and places from Canberra to Bega, from West Wyalong to Cooma, from Gundagai to Goulburn and beyond. I will always be a small part of the Archdiocesan story, but the Archdiocese will always be a large part of my own story.
Until my installation in Brisbane on 11 May, I will remain the Archdiocesan Administrator. The Auxiliary Bishop will then assume that responsibility until the College of Consultors elects an Administrator who will be responsible for the affairs of the Archdiocese until my successor is installed.
Statements like this and rites of installation are easy enough. It is harder to do what a bishop must do at a complex time like this in the Church when the future must be made, not just awaited. I commit all my energies and gifts to that apostolic task in Brisbane, looking more than ever to the Lord of Easter, Jesus Christ crucified and risen."
About Archbishop Coleridge
You can read the Archbishop's CV here.
And you can read my write up of his work in Canberra here.
The Archbishop is originally from Victoria but did much of primary and secondary education in South Australia, before returning to Melbourne.
Ordained as a priest in 1974, he obtained a doctorate in Sacred Scripture in Rome.
Between 1998 and 2001 he worked in the Secretariat of State in the Vatican, and then spent six months as chaplain to Blessed Pope John Paul II.
He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne in May 2002, and Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn in June 2006.
So what do you think?
A number of Canberrans, myself included, will not be looking forward to the prospect of ultra-liberal Auxiliary Bishop Patrick Power being in charge. Indeed, I'd been hoping that if this was going to happen, the reason for the appointment of an Apostolic Administrator and the delay was to wait until Bishop Power had retired!
Nonetheless, this has at least the possibility of being something of a win-win appointment...
Do keep the Archbishop and all concerned in your prayers.
And for a run down on where this leaves the number of episcopal vacancies to be filled in Australia, have a look here.