…that Sandhurst finally has a new bishop!
From the media statement this evening:
Pope Benedict XVI announced in Rome today the appointment of Bishop Les Tomlinson D.D., as Bishop of Sandhurst. Bishop Tomlinson is presently the Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Melbourne. He will take up his position as Bishop of Sandhurst on 1 March 2012.
The Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst includes central Victoria and the Goulburn Valley and north-eastern Victoria to the Murray River in the north.
Bishop Tomlinson said he was humbled by the confidence that the Pope has shown in him and that he was delighted to accept the appointment. Bishop Tomlinson was born and raised in Mildura and is no stranger to country life. Bishop Tomlinson said, “I am looking forward to moving to Bendigo, becoming part of the Church there and fulfilling my role of leadership as Bishop, Teacher and Pastor in the Diocese of Sandhurst.”
Bishop Tomlinson’s appointment follows the sudden and untimely death of Bishop Joe Grech just over 12 months ago.
Bishop Tomlinson has been Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Melbourne since 2003 and was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne in 2009.
Denis Hart, Archbishop of Melbourne paid tribute to Bishop Tomlinson’s years of work in the Melbourne Archdiocese and to his personal goodness and friendship. The Archbishop said, “Bishop Tomlinson has worked as a priest and bishop for 40 years. I am genuinely pleased that the Holy Father has named him Bishop of Sandhurst. We esteem him as a man of God, a devoted pastor who has shown patient and generous care for all. I pay tribute to his years of work in the Archdiocese of Melbourne and to his personal goodness and friendship. I know he will be warmly welcomed in Sandhurst and will serve his new diocese with equal distinction.”
Sentire Cum Ecclessia (and, I trust, our whole Commentary Table) wishes Bishop Tomlinson every blessing from the Lord for his work in Sandhurst!
Just as an aside, that means that Melbourne will once again be one down in its usual full serving of four auxiliary bishops. Somewhere along the line, a priest will have to chosen to fill this vacancy. I don’t expect there will be any urgency on this, compared to the urgency of filling vacant Archdioceses and Dioceses around the country in the near future. But prayers are asked in any case that God (and the Holy Father) will raise up a faithful servant in his house to serve his people here in Melbourne too!