Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Bishop Tim Costelloe from Melbourne as the sixth Archbishop of Perth.
Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Bishop Tim Costelloe SDB as the sixth Archbishop of Perth, making the announcement in Rome at noon today (7pm locally).
Bishop Costelloe said he felt a sense of “gratitude, humility, and also a certain trepidation” at taking up his new role.
“I am very grateful to his Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI,” the bishop said, “for the confidence he has shown in me by appointing me to this role”.
Born and raised in Melbourne, Victoria, Bishop Costelloe has served as Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne since his consecration as bishop on 15 June, 2007.
He was ordained a Salesian Father on 25 October, 1986 and spent the better part of 25 years in a teaching capacity; helping to form seminarians, teaching high school students and lecturing at colleges and universities.
The bishop is no stranger to Perth, serving as Parish Priest of St Joachim’s in Victoria Park from 1996 to 1999 as well as lecturing in Systematic Theology at the University of Notre Dame, Fremantle.
“I came to value the vibrancy of the faith of the Catholic people of the Archdiocese,” he said.
“We are a very multi-cultural society and, consequently, a very multi-cultural Church. This is a source of strength and hope for us all.”
He admired the “commitment and strong sense of solidarity” among Perth’s clergy and hoped “to foster this spirit of mutual respect and cooperation”.
Bishop Costelloe will take possession of the archdiocese on 21 March during a solemn Mass and liturgical reception at St Mary’s Cathedral, Perth.
Perth’s current Archbishop, Barry James Hickey said he welcomed the announcement.
The archbishop said he knew Bishop Costelloe’s personal qualities well, describing him as “a scholar, a pastor and a very amiable companion”.
The then-Father Costelloe was one of two personal theologians chosen by Archbishop Hickey to advise him at the 1998 Synod of Oceania in Rome (the other being St Charles Rector, Mgr Kevin Long).
Bishop Tim Costelloe has the daunting task of making an impact in a world that ignores Christ, Archbishop Barry Hickey said.
That task is “at one time a burden and a privilege”.
“Costelloe will be different from me in many ways. That is inevitable,” the archbishop said.
“However he will be carrying out the same task of caring for the Catholic Church and keeping it united in the faith, calling back the lost sheep, proclaiming the good news of Christ to the world and holding high in society the standards of behaviour and moral values that we share.”
“He has my blessings,” Archbishop Hickey said.
Bishop Costelloe said it was “both a privilege and a a joy” to follow in Archbishop Hickey’s footsteps.
Archbishop Hickey was installed as Archbishop of Perth on 27 August, 1991.
Bishop Costelloe will be the ninth bishop to administer Perth since the appointment of Bishop John Brady to the Swan River Colony in 1845.
Archbishop Patrick Joseph Clune became the Perth’s first archbishop on 28 August 1913 when the Perth diocese was elevated to an archdiocese.