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Ministry in Action: SPRED Appeal 2024

The Flying Priest

SCAM ALERT: Email Posing as Bishop Ken Howell and Clergy of the Toowoomba Diocese

Easter Message 2024 – Bishop Ken Howell

  Easter Message 2024 As a new bishop in a rural Diocese, I’m discovering the critical need for rain in our various regions. Toowoomba has had good rain for the beginning of Holy Week, however, I’m told that a good amount of this precious gift has come to the Western parts of our Diocese as […]

Message Regarding Current Court Matter (13 February 2024)

This morning in the Toowoomba Chronicle (front page and page 4) there is a report that a man has made a civil legal claim in the Supreme Court (Qld) against the Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba for historical sexual abuse. The claimant alleges that, as a student, he was sexually abused on a number of occasions […]

Christmas Message 2023 – Bishop Ken Howell

  Christmas Message 2023 There is something about Christmas that always calls us back to an experience of wanting to be at home. Many set out to be with family and it happens in the setting of a home. It’s a basic human desire and even those whose experience of home life is not positive; […]

Praying for Peace: Embracing Unity in Challenging Times

In the spirit of unity and peace, there will be an Interfaith Prayer Service at St Patrick’s Cathedral, 9 November starting at 5:30pm. Everyone from diverse religious backgrounds and all walks of life are welcome to join in prayer for an end to racism, hatred, violence, and indifference, and to stand in solidarity with victims […]

New Bishop Hearlds New Chapter for Catholic Community

Under a clear blue sky, community leaders and representatives from across the diocese came together to welcome Bishop Ken Howell as the Seventh Bishop of Toowoomba. The Solemn Liturgical Reception was held on Tuesday, 11 July, at St Patrick’s Cathedral Toowoomba. Some 800 people gathered, including 23 bishops and 140 clergy, joined civic and community […]

Countdown to Installation of Seventh Bishop

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.

Pope Francis Names New Bishop for Diocese of Toowoomba

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.

Bishop Robert McGuckin Message for Easter 2023

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.

Bishop Robert McGuckin Message for Christmas 2022

Updated 12/12/22

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.

Bishop Robert McGuckin's Message for Easter 2022

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.

Bishop Robert McGuckin's Message for Christmas 2021

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.

Bishop Robert McGuckin Message for Easter 2021

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.

Bishop Robert McGuckin's Message for Christmas 2020

Updated 15/12/20

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.

Bishop Robert McGuckin's Message for Easter 2020

Updated 01/04/20

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.

Bishops' Annual Social Justice Statement Focuses on Mental Health

Updated 27/08/20

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.

Vale Uncle Darby McCarthy

Updated 07/05/20

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.

Diocese of Toowoomba - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Protocols

Updated 19/3/20

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.

Diocese of Toowoomba - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Protocols

Updated 5/3/20

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).

Bishop Robert McGuckin's Message for Christmas 2019

Updated 9/7/19

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.

Fr Peter Schultz

Updated 12/6/19

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.

Ordination to Priesthood marks end of vocation discernment and study for young man from Miles

Updated 12/7/19

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.

Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba celebrates significant milestones for clergy

Updated 9/7/19

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.

Fr Joseph Patrick "Pat" Hall

Updated 6/8/19

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's Message for Easter 2019

Updated 9/4/19

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 selected for Social Justice Award

Updated 16/3/19

Local humanitarian group PEACE (Positive Empathy and Community Engagement) has been awarded the 2018 Social Justice Award given by the Catholic Social Justice Commission.

Appointment of Executive Officer Catholic Social Justice Commission

Updated 11/3/19

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.

Sisters future-proof support for people in remote and regional Australia

Updated 19/2/19

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's Message for Christmas 2018

Updated 20/12/18

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.”

Work commences on new central administration buildings for Toowoomba Catholic Schools at the historic former South State School site

Updated 10/7/18

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 to open “Yarning Circle” as part of NAIDOC Celebrations

Updated 27/6/18

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 TRAMS in Community Consultation for the Future

Updated 29/5/18

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.

Family Relationship Centre Celebrates 10 Years of Service

Updated 19/6/18

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.

Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba Committed to Safeguarding Children

Updated 22/3/18

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.

Catholic representatives proud to be part of the conversation

Updated 12/3/18

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's Message for Lent 2018

Updated 14/2/18

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's Response to the Royal Commission Final Report

Updated 15/12/17

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's 2017 Christmas Message

Updated 13/12/17

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!

2017 Advent & Christmas Mass Times

Updated 1/12/17

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's Statement on Plebiscite on Marriage

Updated 13/9/17

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.

Catholic Church Continues Education Tradition on Heritage Listed Site

Updated 11/9/17

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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