The Catholic Church in South West Queensland LIVE STREAM MASS

Most Reverend Ken Howell DD SLL



Kenneth Michael Howell was born on 20 February 1958, the son of Jack and Betty Howell. He is brother to Rodney, Janet and Gavin.

He was educated at St Columba’s Primary School, Wilston and St James College, Fortitude Valley, and joined Queensland Rail after his school years, working as a clerk in the Chief Engineers Office.

In 1977, he entered Pius XII Regional Seminary at Banyo and was ordained a Priest on 24 June 1983. From 1983 to 1994, he worked as Assistant Priest in the Parishes of Noosa Districts and Burleigh Heads and at St Stephen’s Cathedral in Brisbane.

Between 1994 and 1997, Bishop Howell completed a Licentiate in Sacred Liturgy at the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy at Sant’ Anselmo in Rome. He served as Secretary to Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane from 1997 to 2010 during which he also served as Associate Pastor and Director of Worship at St Stephen’s Cathedral between 1997 and 2005, as Dean of the Cathedral between 2006 to 2012 and as Vice Rector of the Holy Spirit Seminary between 2002 and 2008. In 2009, undertook a concurrent appointment as Administrator of St Mary’s Parish, South Brisbane. In 2013 Bishop Howell was appointed the Parish Priest at Burleigh Heads. The Bishop was a long-standing member of the Archdiocesan Council of Priests and was its Chairman from 2008 to 2013. He was also the founding chair of the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission.

On 14 June 2017, he was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Brisbane. Since then he has served as the Secretary for the Queensland Bishops, Parish Priest for Kangaroo Point East Brisbane Parish and Director of the Diaconate Program. In February 2021, he was also appointed as Vicar General of the Archdiocese. Bishop Ken is also liaison Bishop to the Holy Spirit Seminary.

Bishop Howell’s installation as the Seventh Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba took place at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Toowoomba on 11 July 2023.

Coat of Arms

On his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Brisbane, Bishop Howell adopted as his arms elements derived from the arms of the widespread families of Howell of Northamptonshire, Suffolk and Warwickshire and which brings to the fore the theme of the light in the darkness which comes from the cross. He has personalised these arms by the addition of a scallop shell with three drops of water referencing John the Baptist and the first sacrament of Baptism.

His arms may be emblazoned, in the language of heraldry:

Sable a cross throughout Or charged in the centre with an escallop shell decanting three drops all Azure

or, in plain English:

On a black shield, a gold Latin cross charged at its centre with a blue scallop from which fall three drops.

The Bishop’s motto is Parare Vias Eius which translates as To prepare his ways.

As Bishop of Toowoomba, the Bishop will impale his personal arms with the arms of the Diocese which may be blazoned:

Vert a sheaf of wheat or charged with a plate argent with thereon ΑΩ, on a chief indented argent a saltire gules.

The diocesan arms may be described as a green field with a sheaf of golden wheat charged with a silver plate bearing the letters Alpha and Omega, the first and the last letters
of the Greek alphabet and an appellation of Christ or of God in the Book of Revelation. An indented silver chief is charged with a red saltire. The arms are ensigned with the green galero
with six green fiocchi on either side which is the traditional heraldic identifier of a bishop with a bishop’s processional cross.

The Bishop’s personal arms were designed by Fr Guy Selvester and Richard d’Apice AM KCSG and the arms have been illustrated by Sandy Turnbull both of The Australian Heraldry Society.