Creating a new bishop

Bishop-elect Robert McGuckin will be ordained as the new Bishop of Toowoomba.
Bishop-elect Robert McGuckin will be ordained as the new Bishop of Toowoomba. Bev Lacey

A HUGE congregation is expected to attend tomorrow's ordination in St Patrick's Cathedral of Monsignor Robert McGuckin as the new Bishop of Toowoomba.

A great many more will log on and watch the splendid ceremony online.

St Mary's priest Fr Terry Hickling and other local priests will meet their new leader this afternoon and join him for dinner at a restaurant in Toowoomba later tonight.

Bishop-elect McGuckin has made the move from the Parramatta Diocese to replace former Bishop William Morris, who was effectively sacked from his position late last year after making comments about a need for the Church to debate the ordination of women and married priests.

Fr Hickling said Bishop-elect McGuckin was a well-respected man.

"The priests from Sydney speak very highly of his caring and human qualities," he said. "A couple of us have already met him and is a very humble and gentle man.

"We wish him all the best."

The ordination ceremony will be held in St Patrick's at 11 o'clock tomorrow.

Four archbishops, 24 bishops, more than 80 priests and five deacons will participate in the ceremony.

Diocesan Chancellor Fr Brian Sparksman said it was a special event for the region.

"This is a very big occasion in the life of the Catholic Church, especially in the Toowoomba diocese and the list of attendees is very impressive," he said.

"Altogether, it is anticipated that 1500 persons will attend, both inside the cathedral and in a marquee that will be erected in the cathedral grounds.

"We are particularly pleased that Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Guiseppe Lazzarotto has agreed to attend, as well as the newly appointed Australian Ambassador to the Holy See, Mr John McCarthy QC."

Fr Hickling was looking forward to the ceremony.

"It is quite a rare event for the Toowoomba diocese," he said.

The event will be live streamed over the internet at

Topics:  bishop church religion st patrick's cathedral warwick

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