The bishop appointment mill is up and running again, and the first appointment for Australia is of Fr. Antoine Tarabay O.L.M. (Lebanese Maronite Order) as Bishop of the Eparchy of St. Maroun (Maronites) in Australia.
Fr. Tarabay was born in Northern Lebanon in 1967, making him Australia's second youngest bishop (Bishop Kennedy of Armidale is still the youngest). He was ordained a priest in 1993, and replaces Bishop Ad Abi Karam, who is 76.
Fr Tarabay is currently rector of St. Charbel’s monastery, church and college in Punchbowl, New South Wales. He completed a Doctorate in Moral Theology at the Alfonsiana Faculty of the Lateran University in a comparative study of Bioethical teachings in the Catholic and Muslim traditions.
Australia has over 30,000 Maronite Catholics according to the 2011 census.
Please keep the bishop-elect in your prayers.
Australia has a growing list of dioceses waiting for bishops to be appointed, so watch this space!
Here is the list:
- Wilcannia-Forbes, vacant now since June 2009;
- Canberra-Goulburn, vacant for just over a year;
- Hobart, where Archbishop Doyle is now 76.4;
- Rockhampton, where Bishop Heenan is 75.7; and
- Townsville, where Bishop Putney is gravely ill.
Lismore is also on the list, but let's hope Bishop Jarrett stays in place for some time to come yet!
There are also a couple of others coming up, or likely to come up, for which one might hope for very quick appointments, in particular, Broken Bay...