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.