New Bishop for Wilcannia Forbes

Our neighbouring Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes celebrated the ordination of its seventh Bishop on Thursday 3rd July 2014. Around 700 people attended the ordination of Bishop Columba Macbeth Green at the Holy Family Church in Parkes.

The Diocese has been without a Bishop since the resignation of Bishop Christopher Toohey in 2009. Between then and 2012, Bishop Terrence Brady (Sydney) and Bishop Emeritus (Parramatta) Kevin Manning were appointed Apostolic Administrators.

The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, was the principal celebrant at the Mass which was concelebrated by over 30 Bishops and clergy from Australia and overseas; Bishop McKenna and several priests of our Diocese were among them. Bishop Michael Kennedy from Armidale, who has been Apostolic Administrator since the end of 2012, was co-consecrator, along with Bishop Peter Ingham.

Bishop Columba is a priest of the 800-year-old Order of St. Paul the First Hermit (Pauline Fathers). After spending two years with the Conventual Franciscans, he joined the Order in 1990, and studied for the priesthood at Vianney College in Wagga Wagga. He made his Solemn Profession in the Order in 1996 and was ordained a priest the following year. He has worked with distinction at the Shrine of Marian Valley in Queensland, in Tarcutta and Marian Hills, and as Administrator at Moss Vale. He has also been a police chaplain both in New South Wales and Queensland since 2000. 

Born in Forbes on 30th June 1968, the son of local residents Lorna and Paul Green, he was educated at St. Laurence O’Toole Primary School and Red Bend Catholic College. 

“I’m humbled by this appointment and also excited about coming home and giving something back to the people who gave me so much,” Bishop Columba said. “I feel really excited about becoming the Bishop of Wilcannia-Forbes. They are great people who know what it means to struggle for their way of life and for their faith in an isolated rural environment. It is a great privilege to be called by God to serve them as their bishop. I pray that I may be the good bishop they deserve”.

Bishop Columba is a talented musician and says he plans to play the bagpipes “all around the Diocese”.

A formal installation Mass took place at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Broken Hill on Saturday 5th July.


  Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Bishop Columba and Bishop Peter Ingham

Photo courtesy Bill Jayet, Parkes Champion Post



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