Archbishop Mark Coleridge has welcomed the appointment of his Surfers Paradise parish priest Fr Timothy Harris as the sixth Bishop of Townsville.
The Holy Father has appointed Fr Harris, moving him from the Archdiocese in which he has served exceptionally well.
Archbishop Coleridge said: “After a long wait, the Diocese of Townsville has received the gift of a new Bishop, and for that we give thanks to God in Queensland and beyond. We also thank Pope Francis for the gift of Bishop-elect Tim Harris to Townsville.
“He has been a wonderful pastor in the parish of Surfers Paradise and will be greatly missed from the Archdiocese of Brisbane. But the Church is bigger than the Archdiocese, and our loss will be Townsville’s gain.
“Bishop-elect Tim will face great challenges in his new mission, but the Holy Father and many others have decided that he is well able to meet the challenges that lie before him at this time of deep change in the Church in Australia.”
Archbishop Coleridge said Bishop-elect Harris will build on the fine work done before him in the north Queensland diocese.
“We look forward to the ordination and installation of Bishop-elect Tim as sixth Bishop of Townsville, following in the footsteps of Bishop Ray Benjamin and Bishop Michael Putney whom we have farewelled in recent times,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
“He is well equipped to build on the legacy of faith and pastoral care that they bequeathed to the Diocese. May God bless Bishop-elect Tim and the Diocese of Townsville in every way as together they move into the future which God has prepared.”
The Office of Bishop has been vacant in the Diocese of Townsville since the death of Bishop Putney on 28 March 2014. The date of Bishop-Elect Harris’ Episcopal Ordination will be announced soon.