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Pope appoints two auxiliary bishops in Melbourne

Pope Francis has appointed two new auxiliary bishops to the Australian Archdiocese of Melbourne.

By Vatican News

Pope Francis on Friday appointed two new auxiliary bishops in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, the capital of southeastern Australian state of Victoria.  They are Father Martin Ashe and Monsignor Anthony John Ireland, both belonging to the clergy of Melbourne Archdiocese.

Fr. Martin Ashe

Fr. Martin Ashe was born on 27 September 1963 in Killarney, Ireland. After his first studies with the Sisters of Mercy and at Saint Brendan’s College in Killarney, he entered the All Hallows Seminary in Dublin.

He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Melbourne on 11 June 1978.

After serving as deputy parish priest in Hadfield (1978), Clayton (1982) and Blackburn (1986), he became a formator at the Corpus Christi Church in Melbourne in 1990. From 1987 to 1993 he served as defender of the Bond, promoter of justice and adjunct judicial vicar at the Melbourne Regional Tribunal. He was a member of the Personnel Advisory Board from 1990 to 1993 and from 2004 to 2010.

He holds a master's degree in pastoral studies from the Institute of Pastoral Studies-Loyola University, Chicago, U.S.A. (1993 - 1994). From 1995 he served again for two years as formator at Corpus Christi College, Melbourne. From 1997 to 2005 he was parish priest of Sunbury, and from 2005 to 2010, director of ministry to priests. After a sabbatical at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, U.S.A., he was appointed administrator of the parish of Maidstone, Braybrook. From 2012 until now he has served as parish priest of Christ the Light in Mernda-Whittlesea and member of the College of Consultors.

In addition, from 2015 to 2018 he was episcopal vicar for the northern region of the metropolitan archdiocese of Melbourne.


Msgr. Anthony John Ireland

Msgr. Anthony John Ireland was born on 28 April 1957 in Melbourne. He attended Saint Aloysius College in Caulfield (1962-1969) and De La Salle College in Malvern (1970-1977). He worked as a banker and then as a municipal clerk before entering Corpus Christi College, Melbourne, in 1981.

After his priestly ordination on 19 September 1987, he served as parish vicar in Grovedale (1987-1988) and Menton (1988-1990). He obtained a licentiate in moral theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University and a Master of Arts in spiritual theology from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome (1992). Upon returning to Australia, he served as parish vicar in Sandringham (1993-1995), parish administrator (1995-1996) and parish priest in Langwarrin (1996-1999), dean of Peninsula (1997-1999) and parish priest in Frankston and Langwarrin (1999-2002).

He was later awarded a doctorate in moral theology from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (2004) in Rome. He was also dean of Studies (2005-2006) and rector (2006-2009) at Corpus Christi College, Melbourne. From 2009 until now he has served as parish priest of Saint Gregory the Great, episcopal vicar for the eastern sector and for Health, Aged and Disability Care, member of the Board of Consultors, the Board of the Catholic Development Fund, the Catholic Capital Grants for Schools Committee and the State Government Committee for Legal and Social Issues.

Melbourne Archdiocese is headed by Archbishop Peter Andrew Comensoli, the former Bishop of Broken Bay, whom Pope Francis transferred to Melbourne in November 2014. The archdiocese now has 3 auxiliary bishops.  The other is Bishop Terence Robert Curtin.


14 May 2021, 16:58