By Archbishop Mark Coleridge
At this time of great change and challenge, it is a joy for the Church in Brisbane and Australia to welcome the appointment of Fr Tim Norton SVD as Auxiliary Bishop of Brisbane. In some ways it is a surprising appointment, but Fr Tim brings to the ministry of bishop many gifts and experiences required now more than ever as the whole Church seeks to become more missionary.
Born in Sydney in 1958, Tim entered the Divine Word Missionaries in 1984 and was ordained priest in 1991. He then served in Mexico for seven years before undertaking studies in spiritual direction to prepare for formation work in Melbourne preparing men to serve as Divine Word Missionaries. He was then elected Provincial of the Australian Province, and in that role he had close contact with the Archdiocese of Brisbane where the SVD have been and still are an important presence. Since completing his term as Provincial, Tim has been the Director of the Ad Gentes course of renewal based at the SVD house in Nemi near Rome.
All of this will equip Tim well for what awaits him in the episcopal ministry in this time and in this place. He will make a real contribution not only locally in Brisbane and Queensland but also nationally and internationally. He comes to us as God’s gift and we give thanks to the giver of all gifts. We also welcome Tim as a brother in faith and in mission.
Details of the ordination will follow, and in the meantime we pray for Tim, asking the Lord to breathe into him in a new and deeper way the Holy Spirit who enables us to hear God’s Word and speak it to others.