Pope Francis has announced this evening, on the feast of Mary Help of Christians, the appointment of Bishop Ken Howell as the seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Toowoomba.
In hearing the news, Bishop Robert McGuckin, retiring Bishop of Toowoomba said, “I am very pleased to congratulate Bishop Ken Howell and wish him every blessing as he takes up his pastoral ministry in this vast and special Diocese.”
“The people of the Archdiocese of Brisbane will be sad at loosing Bishop Ken but rest assured Bishop Ken will be warmly welcomed to Toowoomba.
Bishop Howell currently serves as the Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Brisbane.
“The Catholic Community of the diocese of Toowoomba has been an active and dynamic presence on the Darling Downs and throughout South West Queensland for well over 100 years. I am deeply humbled to be called by Pope Francis to shepherd this local Church and I thank him sincerely,” says Bishop Howell.
“I realise that I have been given a great responsibility to care for the faithful and to engage in the life of broader community across the Diocese.
Born in 1958, Bishop Howell was educated at St James College, Fortitude Valley. He attended Pius XII Regional Seminary and was ordained a Priest on 24 June 1983.
Since that time, he has served the Archdiocese of Brisbane in a number of parishes, as Dean of the Cathedral, and Vice Rector of Holy Spirit Seminary. He completed a Licentiate in Sacred Liturgy at the Pontifical Institute Sant’Anselmo in Rome and has served as a long-standing member of the Council of Priests and the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission. He was ordained as Bishop on June 14 2017 and appointed to the position of Vicar General of the Archdiocese in 2021.
‘In leaving my home diocese where I have served as a priest for 40 years and for the last 6 years as Auxiliary Bishop of Brisbane, I do so with both gratitude and a touch of sadness. The bishops, priests, deacons, religious and the people have greatly assisted me in my ministry, and it has been a pleasure and a privilege to have served God’s people in the Archdiocese. However, I do not come to Toowoomba as a stranger. The close links between Brisbane and Toowoomba have been long standing and I know many of the priests of the Diocese. I especially look forward to working with them and encouraging their ministry to the people in the many regions of the Diocese. I am also blessed to have several family ties with the Diocese. It will be good to deepen these wonderful bonds.
“I pay tribute to Bishops Robert McGuckin and William Morris for their faith filled ministry over the past 30 years and I very much look forward to seeking out their wisdom as I move into being Bishop of Toowoomba.
“As I prepare to move to my new home, I come with a desire to listen to God’s people and to understand and grow in love for the mission of this local Church. It is my firm hope that I may accompany the community of the Church of Toowoomba, as together we seek to live and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in the world.
“Can I ask all the people of the Diocese to pray for me as I prepare to be with you. Your prayer will be my greatest support.
“May our blessed Mother, Our Lady of the Southern Cross, pray for us all.
Bishop Ken’s installation as the seventh Bishop of Toowoomba will be held on 11 July 2023 at the Cathedral of St Patrick.
Bishop Ken Howell and Bishop Robert McGuckin (Courtesy of The Catholic Leader)