Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Fr. Paul Bird, leader of the Australian and New Zealand Redemptorists, as Bishop of Ballarat
Fr. Paul will succeed Bishop Peter Connors who has been chief pastor of the Ballarat diocese since 1997.
“I’m feeling excited but also rather nervous about taking up the role of bishop of the diocese of Ballarat,” said Fr. Paul.
“The nervousness comes from the fact that this role will involve new responsibilities and I’m not sure how I will go in meeting the challenges involved. At the same time, I’m excited at the prospect of meeting the people of the diocese and doing whatever I can to encourage them in their faith and in their Christian lives.”
Statement of Archbishop Denis Hart
On behalf of the Australian Bishops and for the bishops, priests and people of the Province of Melbourne, I warmly welcome the announcement of the appointment of Father Paul Bird CSsR as Bishop-elect of Ballarat.
Father Bird has given distinguished service to the Redemptorist Order as Provincial and as retreat-giver, liturgist and teacher. For twenty years from 1987 he was Superior of the Redemptorists in Melbourne and editor of Majellan Publications. After fifteen years as a member of the Provincial Council, he has served as Provincial since 2008.
We welcome Bishop-elect Paul and know that his exceptional gifts will bring rich blessings to the people of the Diocese of Ballarat, whom he will serve with faith, generosity and love. He is a gifted leader and will be welcomed warmly by the people of Ballarat Diocese and beyond.
Archbishop of Melbourne
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
Bishop - Elect Paul Bird will be ordained Bishop on 16 October, 2012.