The Holy Father has appointed Fr Michael Kennedy, a priest of the diocese of Wagga Wagga, as the new bishop of Armidale.  He succeeds Bishop Luc Matthys whose resignation has been accepted by the Pope, having reached the age limit.

Fr Kennedy is a past chairman of the Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy.  He is currently the Parish Priest of Leeton, New South Wales.  He began his seminary training at Vianney College, Wagga Wagga, and continued his studies at Propaganda Fide in Rome, obtaining a Licentiate in Sacred Theology.  He has been a priest for thirteen years, and in addition to parochial duties has also lectured at Vianney College.

Congratulations and prayerful best wishes to Bishop elect Kennedy, and a happy retirement to Bishop Matthys.  Armidale has been, and will continue to be, in the hands of a good shepherd.  Deo gratias!

Let’s keep the nuncio in our prayers as he goes about the challenging work of finding suitable successors for the other vacant sees in Australia.

Media release here: Armidale Wagga Wagga priest Fr Michael Kennedy appointed Bishop of Armidale-1.

Source: here.

More:

* at Vexilla Regis: New Bishop Breaks Episcopal Log Jam.

* at Australia Incognita: A bishop-elect for Armidale

* at A Priest Downunder: Bishop elect Kennedy appointed to Armidale

* at The hermeneutic of continuity: Former ACCC Chairman appointed Bishop

* at Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney – News: Wagga Wagga Priest Appointed Bishop of Armidale

* and at ACBC Media Blog: Wagga Wagga priest Fr Michael Kennedy appointed Bishop of Armidale

And the following from the Vatican Information Service (with some statistics on Armidale):

– Fr. Michael Robert Kennedy as bishop of Armidale (area 120,000, population 176,621, Catholics 42,748, priests 34, permanent deacons 1, religious 45), Australia. The bishop-elect was born in Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia in 1968 and was ordained a priest in 1999.

If I’m not mistaken, Fr Kennedy is the first graduate of Vianney College, Wagga Wagga, to be made a bishop.  This is somewhat historic in my opinion.  The establishment of Vianney College by Bishop Brennan was the beginning of the reform of Australian seminaries, which eventually saw all of the seminaries in Australia either: closed, moved, rebuilt, reopened, or renamed – or any combination of these.  Along with physical changes were the more important changes regarding what was taught in the seminaries, and the manner of preparation of seminarians.  These changes could be summarised in various ways, but ultimately they’ve resulted in a more obvious adherence to the teachings and disciplines of the whole church, overcoming some of the provincial idiosyncrasies that had crept in over the decades.  The reforms also reflected changes that were, welcomingly, happening elsewhere in the world.