New Bishops for the Diocese of Bathurst and the Diocese of Port Pirie

April 18, 2009 3:47 pm

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed two Bishops to dioceses in Australia, the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, has announced. Bishop Gregory O’Kelly SJ has been appointed the Bishop of Port Pirie and Fr Michael McKenna has been appointed the Bishop of Bathurst. Bishop O’Kelly has been the Auxiliary Bishop of Adelaide since September 2006. He was ordained a Jesuit priest in Adelaide in 1972 and has a long background in Catholic education, having been headmaster both of St Ignatius College Adelaide, and St Ignatius College, Riverview in Sydney. In 1989 Bishop O’Kelly was elected as Chairman of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia and in 1994 he was awarded the Order of Australia for services to education. Bishop O’Kelly is a member of the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education and of the National Catholic Education Commission and has been involved with various refugee communities in Adelaide. Bishop O’Kelly succeeds Bishop Eugene Hurley as the Bishop of Port Pirie, following Bishop Hurley’s appointment as the Bishop of Darwin in July 2007. Fr Michael McKenna, has until now, been the Catholic Chaplain to the University of Melbourne and the Administrator of All Saints Parish, Fitzroy. He was ordained a priest in 1983, after which, he served in the Diocese of Sale. In 1991, while engaged in post graduate studies in Canon Law at the Gregorian University, Rome, he was elected to the first of his two terms as General Secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. After a return to parish life, Bishop-Elect McKenna took up a Resident Fellowship in the Divinity School of Harvard University. From 1999 to 2005, he was Rector of Corpus Christi College, the regional seminary for Victoria and Tasmania. In 2006 he was appointed as Catholic Chaplain to the University of Melbourne and the following year he also took on the pastoral care of All Saints Parish, Fitzroy. Bishop-Elect McKenna succeeds Bishop Patrick Dougherty, who retired as the Bishop of Bathurst in November 2008.