11 June 2023
11 June 2023
Today, Tuesday 12 July, Bishop Ken Howell will officially become the Seventh Bishop of Toowoomba during a Liturgical Reception at St Patrick’s Cathedral Toowoomba.
With an anticipated full Cathedral, some 25 archbishops and bishops, over 80 clergy will join civic and community leaders, parish delegates and inter-faith representatives in welcoming Bishop Howell to the community.
24 May 2023
The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Ken Howell, currently an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Brisbane, as the seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Toowoomba. Pope Francis made the official announcement in Rome at noon (8:00 pm local time) on Wednesday, 24 May 2023. The appointment follows the retirement of Bishop Robert McGuckin, who has served the Toowoomba Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination on 11 July 2012.
Updated March 2023
In the Message of Pope Francis for Lent 2023, he affirms that “together too, as a pilgrim Church in time, we experience the liturgical year and Lent within it, walking alongside those whom the Lord has placed among us as fellow travellers.”
We have now come out of Lent into the Easter Season. The spirit of generosity we may have shown in Lent should continue throughout the year. Caritas is always willing to receive your contributions which will be put to genuine and worthwhile projects being sponsored here in Australia and overseas. It is never too late to lend a helping hand to those in need.
Over the past few weeks there have been a number of end-of-year school functions. For many young people their school days are now over, but their education continues. In listening to the speeches of many school leavers, I have been heartily impressed by the maturity of those young women and men. Our community will surely be the better with their participation.
As the year draws to a close, we look both backwards and forwards. Globally it has been a very mixed year. We can see how fortunate we are when we consider many of the problems around the world, for example: the war and conflict in the Ukraine, famine in parts of Africa, earthquakes, repetitive and continuing floods in many parts of Australia.
Updated April 2022
Did you find Lent a challenging time? I think we can all say that so far 2022 has been very challenging: Covid-19 is still with us and we have witnessed devastating floods in Queensland and New South Wales. At the same time we thank all our emergency and community services and volunteers that stepped in to minimise danger and to offer some relief to those most affected. Many people remain homeless and they know not what the future holds. Will there be a return to normal?
Live streaming and reporting of the floods and of the war in Ukraine must surely have caused us to be saddened and moved to serious reflection on the value of each and every life. The unthinkable war in Ukraine with the terrible loss of life and unspeakable hardship for so many continues.
Updated December 2021
The month of December is a season of anticipation and also a chance to look back over the year that has past. Both globally and domestically the year has been very mixed. Even now many are still struggling with disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and other difficulties.
On top of all this, preparations for Christmas are in full swing in our local shopping centres. Planning for travel may be a little uncertain with possible border closures, nevertheless there is anticipation of seeing someone after a long time. All of this builds excitement and expectancy for many. Hopefully we can open our homes in hospitality.
Updated March 2021
Schools are back, and in fact, Term 1 is almost over. Lent began on 17th February, and 4th April is Easter Sunday.
During this COVID 19 pandemic, we have been fortunate in our part of the world, especially in our diocese. We may think that some of the restrictions with which we have to abide are somewhat burdensome. We are part
of a larger community and need to consider the well-being of everyone. I hope we are able to see these things in the light of the common good, where we are members of a common family, where we are all brothers and sisters.
The end of the year is upon us, and many of us might be saying it can’t come soon enough! With Covid-19, life has been very different since the middle of March, and in some ways, life will be different in the future.
Pope Francis, in the introduction to his recent encyclical letter Fratelli Tutti, on fraternity and social friendship, explains that our false securities have been exposed with the eruption of the Covid-19 pandemic.
May the joy and peace of Christmas be with you and your loved ones now as we move into the future.
At the beginning of Lent, I commented: “What a start to the year!” Tragedies with families devastated through the actions of others, bushfires, drought and coronavirus, which we now call COVID-19.
Many have commented that we are in unchartered waters. Federal and State laws have been enacted limiting the movement of peoples and even restricting the celebration of Mass, Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals. Health Authorities remind us of the necessity for these restrictions so that lives may be saved and the Pandemic overcome.
In these times may we truly be faith-filled and hope-filled people.
The Catholic Bishops of Australia have released the Social Justice Statement 2020-21, on the critical subject of mental health, in the lead-up to Social Justice Sunday on August 30.
The statement titled To Live Life to the Full: Mental health in Australia today, encourages faith communities, governments and individuals to make mental health a priority.
The statement encourages parishes and local communities to be places of welcome and inclusion, overcoming the barriers and stigma so often faced by people experiencing mental ill-health.
In addition to the written statement, which is free to download, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s Office for Social Justice has also produced an audio recording of the statement.
Bishop Robert McGuckin will launch the statement in the Toowoomba Diocese August 28.
On Wednesday afternoon (06 May), local Aboriginal Elder Darby McCarthy, died. Darby has been a prominent leader in the community, a staunch advocate of the rights of First Nations peoples, deeply immersed in his own culture, firmly at home in family and good friend to many people in all walks of life.
He will be greatly missed by the racing fraternity: a wonderful jockey with an outstanding record. He will be remembered for his enthusiastic efforts to have the second range crossing named Multuggerah Way. His smiling presence in any gathering always spoke of welcome.
The public health emergency of the kind that we are experiencing is a rare event. Given the directions provided by the Government and after consultation the following provisions apply effective from midnight Friday 20 March 2020.
All regular public Masses are hereby suspended until 1st May. This includes all Holy Week Ceremonies.
The obligation to participate at Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation is dispensed.
The Faithful are encouraged to keep the Lord’s Day holy and celebrate Sunday as a domestic church by taking time to pray together as a household. Resources will be made available in due course.
Following the National advice on liturgical implications in light of coronavirus (COVID-19) issued today by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Bishop Robert McGuckin asks that parishes and communities throughout the Diocese of Toowoomba observe the following temporary protocols until further notice, effective from this weekend (7 and 8 March 2020).
We have witnessed continually throughout this year the innate goodness that resides within each of us, as people have responded to those most in need and most at risk. Images of volunteer rural fire-fighters battling blazes whilst their own homes are at risk; school children assisting in drought appeals; fleets of trucks bringing food for cattle; ordinary mums and dads providing temporary accommodation for those fleeing for their lives have been accompanied by stories of compassion and love.
It is with great sadness that we share the news of Fr Peter Schultz’s death 5/8/19. Fr Peter died peacefully at St Vincent’s Hospital Toowoomba in the presence of Bishop Robert McGuckin, Frs Michael O’Brien and Peter Dorfield and his doctor. He will be missed. May Peter rest in peace in God’s care.
A Funeral Mass will be held at St Patrick’s Cathedral Toowoomba, Tuesday 13/8/19 @ 1:00pm. All are welcome to attend to celebrate Peter’s life and ministry.
Deacon Thomas Duncan will be ordained to the priesthood next Thursday, 18/7/19. Tom, 25, hails from Miles, two-and-a-half hours west of Toowoomba. After completing year 11 and 12 at Marist College, Ashgrove, Tom thought his life would continue like those around him. Perhaps become a builder like his dad, get married and start a family like his mates. However more and more he felt drawn to a different path and soon Tom began to explore what being a priest might mean.
Bishop Robert McGuckin, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba, warmly welcomes the community to a celebration of significant Jubilees of Priestly Ordination for the clergy. Fr Hal Ranger, priest in residence at St Patrick’s Cathedral, has reached 60 years of priestly ordination. Fr Brian Connolly, Parish Priest of Stanthorpe, and Bishop Bill Morris, Emeritus Bishop of Toowoomba, have both reached 50 years of priestly ordination.
It is with great sadness that we share the news of Fr Peter Schultz’s passing 5/8/19. Peter died peacefully at St Vincent’s Hospital Toowoomba in the presence of Bishop Robert McGuckin, Frs Michael O’Brien and Peter Dorfield and his doctor. He will be missed. May Peter rest in peace in God’s care.
Bishop Robert McGuckin invites the community to come together to celebrate Peter’s life and ministry. Funeral Mass 13/8/19, 1:00pm @ St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Bishop Robert McGuckin has released his annual Lenten Message.
Bishop Robert recounts the story of “The Four Candles”, a popular poem by Aino Makoto. “Don’t be afraid, for I am Hope, and while I still burn, we can re-light the other candles.”
Local humanitarian group PEACE (Positive Empathy and Community Engagement) has been awarded the 2018 Social Justice Award given by the Catholic Social Justice Commission.
Bishop Robert McGuckin is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr David Tutty as Executive Officer Catholic Social Justice Commission. David will commence with the Diocese of Toowoomba on Monday, 1 April 2019, operating out of the current Social Justice Office located in the Cathedral Precinct, Neil Street.
The Missionary Sisters of Service (MSS), established by Fr John Wallis in Tasmania 75 years ago, has launched an initiative that will see their important work in remote and regional Australia continue beyond the life of the Sisters.
To mark the new stage in the work of the MSS, grant applications will be invited for community projects which can make a difference in the lives of isolated, and often forgotten, Australians.
Bishop Robert McGuckin has released his annual message to the Diocese for the Christmas season.
“In proclaiming the gospel we should bear witness to the dignity and the vocation of every person and to the communion of persons. The new law of love embraces the entire human family and knows no limits since the proclamation of the salvation wrought by Christ extends to the ends of the earth. This is a call not just to young people but to all of us.”
The site of the former South State School is humming with activity once again as work gets underway on a new central administration building for Toowoomba Catholic Schools.
The Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba purchased the site in 2015, naming its central location and proximity to existing church buildings, St Patrick’s Cathedral and Parish centre, as key in making it a logical choice to accommodate all Catholic Schools Office staff at one location.
CatholicCare Social Services’ has recently completed a landscaping project to create a Yarning Circle feature in the grounds at The Shrine. The Yarning Circle has been an important part of Aboriginal and Torres Straight cultures and is used as a means for interaction, relationship building and culture preservation. CatholicCare is hoping to harness this useful communication tool as part of the Future Families Program.
CatholicCare Social Services TRAMS (Toowoomba Refugee and Migrant Service) has been a beacon for the refugee and migrant population in Toowoomba and surrounds for over 13 years. After settling into a new space in the heart of Toowoomba, TRAMS is now looking to the future at new and exciting ways they can expand and improve the service they offer.
CatholicCare Social Services’ Family Relationship Centre (FRC) is celebrating 10 years of service to families in the Darling Downs area this month (June).
From the first day of operation, FRC has assisted clients navigate challenges of separation and divorce. Staff have helped their clients negotiate weekend visits and choice of schooling, often in complex situations like domestic and family violence, drugs/alcohol and mental health issues.
Bishop Robert McGuckin over the last two days, 20-21 March, has met with more than 85 members of the Diocese’s clergy, religious, lay leadership and volunteer Safeguard Representatives from Toowoomba, the Northern Downs, the West, and the Southern Downs in the James Byrne Centre in Highfields. They examined the measures in place to ensure the safeguarding of children and the vulnerable that come into contact with parishes, schools and other pastoral ministry outreach activities.
Toowoomba recently hosted the National Interfaith Peace Conference with representatives from across the country and the world in attendance to discuss whether religion and culture are sources of strength in today’s society.
Bishop Robert McGuckin has released his annual Lenten Message.
“Prayer, fasting, some self-denial and works of charity are ways in which we enter into the spirit of Lent. “
Bishop Robert McGuckin has released a response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s Final Report. Bishop Robert welcomed the release of this final report and said one of the most important elements of this work has been the opportunity for those who were abused to be heard.
Bishop Robert McGuckin has released his annual message to the Diocese for the Christmas season. He reflects on key moments for the year and invites us all to be mindful of those less fortunate during this season. May the joy and peace of Christmas be with you and your loved ones now and throughout the coming year. A very happy Christmas to all!
A list of Christmas Mass times across the Toowoomba Diocese. Also included are special Advent events and masses as well as reconciliation.
Bishop Robert McGuckin has released a statement on the postal plebiscite on marriage. He asks we consider the far reaching implications of the proposed redefinition of marriage. Bishop Robert also calls for respect during this debate – regardless of differences, each has a right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
In 2015 the Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba acquired the site of the former Toowoomba South State School with the intention of developing the site as a central location for the Catholic Schools Office in Toowoomba. The land’s proximity to existing church buildings (St Patrick’s Cathedral and St Saviour’s Primary School and College) made it a logical investment for the Diocese.
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