Pope Francis appoints new Archbishop for Cardiff, Wales
By Vatican News
Bishop Mark O’Toole has been Bishop of Plymouth since his appointment in 2013.
Previously, he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Westminster in 1990 and served as private secretary to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor between 2002-2008, before his appointment as the Rector of Allen Hall seminary in 2008.
Archbishop-elect O’Toole will become the eighth archbishop of Cardiff, succeeding Archbishop George Stack, who has been Archbishop of Cardiff since 2011.
The installation will take place in Cardiff Cathedral on 20 June, the feast day of Welsh martyrs Saints Julius and Aaron.
Speaking following the announcement of his appointment, Archbishop-elect O’Toole said he was “grateful and humbled by the trust that the Holy Father has placed in me. I face the task ahead both with excitement and a certain trepidation, conscious of my own weaknesses.”
He also expressed his heartfelt gratitude to all in the Diocese of Plymouth. “You have taught me what it is to be a bishop. I will leave with many happy memories, and with sadness, too, in saying farewell to good friends. Thank you for the love you have shown me these past eight years. It strengthens me as I face this new opportunity, and I am sure you will be praying for me,” he said.
“I know, too, that I can count on the cooperation and prayer of the Priests, Deacons, Religious, and Lay Faithful of the Archdiocese of Cardiff and the Diocese of Menevia. I look forward to meeting you all and, in time, to us getting to know one another.”
Archbishop-elect O’Toole said that although Wales and Herefordshire are new territory for him, having only visited for holidays and retreats, he has been struck by the rich history and dramatic geography of the two dioceses.
“I have much to learn and I know I can count on your patience and understanding. I ask especially for your prayers. When I first became bishop, I chose the motto, ‘Into your hands, Lord’. It is a prayer I have had cause to make many times in recent days. It is a prayer that I ask us all in Cardiff and Menevia, to make together today, and in the weeks and months ahead.”
Offering his congratulations, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster said: “Today’s news of the appointment of Bishop Mark O’Toole as Metropolitan Archbishop of Cardiff and Bishop of Menevia, in persona episcopi, is most welcome. I offer Bishop Mark my fullest support and fervent prayers as he prepares to take on this new role. I am sure that the Catholic community throughout Wales will welcome him warmly, as will leaders of other churches there and those of civic society. St David and all saints of Wales, pray for him.”