The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane John Bathersby has been honoured in the 2008 Queens Birthday Honours list.
Archbishop Bathersby was named an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) for services to the Catholic Church in Australia and to the wider community through the promotion of ecumenism.
Archbishop Bathersby said he was very humbled to be nominated for the award.
“I think probably anyone who receives an award feels uncomfortable about it, because there’s just so many good people whom we feel deserve the award more than we do,” Archbishop Bathersby said.
“I think it’s an honour for Catholics in general, and I think it’s an honour for the amount of good that religion has done and continues to do within our society and for that I’m quite happy to accept the award knowing that it’s not just for me.”
“It’s an award for the Catholic church in general but also possibly recognition of the good that all religion does in our society.
“Certainly it (religion) strengthens people with a great deal of hope and optimism, because we must engage to try and make the world a better place, but also with the knowledge that our life goes much beyond physical death here, in that we are made to live forever, and that’s the good news of Jesus Christ.
“Therefore it’s marvellous that (through these awards) we’re able in some way to realise that people do accept the fact that religion does good and effects the lives of millions of people,” Archbishop Bathersby said.
Archbishop Bathersby was ordained as a priest for the Toowoomba Diocese on June 30, 1961.
His first appointment was as assistant priest in the parish of Goondiwindi from 1962 -1969.
He studied for a Licentiate in Sacred Theology and a Diploma in Spirituality in Rome from 1969 – 1972. Further studies for a Doctorate in Sacred Theology were completed between 1979 – 1982.
He served two terms as Spiritual Director of Pius XII Seminary at Banyo from 1973- 1979 and from 1982 until his ordination as Bishop of Cairns in 1986.
Archbishop Bathersby was installed as Archbishop of Brisbane in January 1992, upon the retirement of Archbishop Francis Rush DD.
Archbishop Bathersby is the son of the late John Thomas Bathersby and Grace Maud (nee Conquest) Bathersby of Stanthorpe. He has a brother Michael, and three sisters Carmel, Susanna and Anne.
Released by The Catholic Communications Office