POPE Francis has appointed Burleigh Heads parish priest Fr Ken Howell as an auxiliary Bishop of Brisbane.
Bishop-elect Howell will serve alongside Archbishop Mark Coleridge in the Brisbane archdiocese, where he has been a priest for 34 years.
Following his appointment, Bishop-elect Howell said the opportunity to serve as auxiliary Bishop of his home city was “both a joy and an exciting challenge”.
“Brisbane is the place of my birth and the Church that has nurtured my faith,” Bishop-elect Howell said.
“It has been the great blessing of my life to have served this Church as a priest for the past 34 years.”
Bishop-elect Howell said through the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the love and prayers of the people of God he could “look to the future with confidence”.
“I ask you to pray for me as I accept the invitation of our Holy Father to serve the Church as a member of the College of Bishops,” Bishop-elect Howell said.
Born on February, 20 1958, Fr Howell received his education as St James College, Fortitude Valley, and joined Queensland Rail after his school years working as a clerk in the Chief Engineers Office.
In 1977, he entered Pius XII Regional Seminary, and he was ordained a priest for Brisbane on June 24,1983.
Archbishop Coleridge welcomed the announcement of Bishop-elect Howell as the next auxiliary Bishop of Brisbane.
“We are grateful that Pope Francis has chosen a gifted man of wide experience to serve as bishop at this complex time,” the Archbishop said.
Among Bishop-elect Howell’s wide experience worked as Assistant Priest in the Parishes of Noosa Districts, Burleigh Heads and the Cathedral, Brisbane between 1983 to 1994.
He was also secretary to Archbishop John Bathersby, dean of St Stephen’s Cathedral between 2006 and 2012, received a licentiate in Liturgical Studies in Rome, has served on Archdiocesan councils and commissions and was previously vice rector of Holy Spirit Seminary.
“He is well equipped to give fine service not only to the Archdiocese but also to the Queensland Bishops and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Denis Hart said Bishop-elect Howell had already showed great service to the Church as a liturgist, Cathedral administrator and pastor.
“Fr Howell’s gifts, knowledge and love of people will make him a welcome and respected member of the Bishops Conference, where I’ve no doubt he will provide generous service,” Archbishop Hart said.