The Holy Father Pope Francis has appointed as Auxiliary Bishops of Melbourne, the Reverend Monsignor Terence Curtin and the Reverend Father Mark Stuart Edwards OMI.
Mgr Curtin is currently Parish Priest of Greythorn and the Episcopal Vicar for the Eastern Region of the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Fr Edwards is presently Rector of Iona College in Brisbane.
Congratulating both priests on their appointments, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart said: “On behalf of the people of Melbourne, I welcome the Holy Father’s care for us in appointing bishops-elect Terence Curtin and Mark Edwards as auxiliary bishops.”
Born in Cremorne, Sydney on 20 July 1945, Mgr Curtin was educated at St Kevin’s College, Toorak. Joining the Regional Seminary of Melbourne, he completed his priestly formation at the Pontifical Urban College, Rome.
Graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Melbourne and later on a Doctorate of Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Mgr Curtin was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Melbourne on 28 August 1971. He was made a Monsignor in 2012.
Mgr Curtin worked in academia at the Australian Catholic University for almost 30 years and then at Catholic Theological College for the last 12 years. Speaking to the bishops’ conference following his appointment, Mgr Curtin said: “From the first day my father drove me to the seminary at Werribee, I’ve always felt my vocation was in Melbourne, even though the family was moving to Sydney at the end of that year.”
“Being called to be an auxiliary bishop is a great opportunity to be a witness, to share faith and spread the mission of the Church rejoicing in all of the wonderful things that people are doing in the archdiocese,” Mgr Curtin said.
The 69-year-old said he felt “enormously touched by God’s grace” adding, “I hope that I can be a true servant to the people of the archdiocese”.
Born in Balikpapan, Indonesia on 14 June 1959, Fr Edwards was educated at Mazenod College, Mulgrave and Monash University, Melbourne. Entering the Noviciate of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Mulgrave in 1980, he made his final religious profession on 17 February 1984 and was ordained a priest on 16 August 1986.
Fr Edwards has since worked as a teacher, novice master and lecturer in Melbourne. In 2010 he became rector of Iona College in Brisbane. Between 2001-2012, Fr Edwards served as Counsellor of the Australian Province of the Oblates of Mary Immacolate.
Upon receiving the news, Fr Edwards said he was “surprised and humbled by the appointment”. “I will be sorry to leave teaching, which I have enjoyed,” he added.
Taking up his new role, the 55-year-old priest aims to give back to the diocese, “I hope to contribute to the pastoral life of the Archdiocese of Melbourne. In particular, I am looking forward to giving back to the church that has made me, as I received my faith formation from the church in Melbourne.”
Archbishop Hart added that each bishop-elect had many gifts; “Bishop Curtin as teacher, educator and pastor, Bishop Edwards as novice master, seminary formator, and leader in education and care. Their presence is an immense gift to the Archdiocese and will be warmly welcomed by all of us”.
The Episcopal Ordination is expected to take place at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne on Wednesday 17 December at 7.30 pm.