Michael McKenna (bishop)

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The Most Reverend
Michael McKenna
8th Roman Catholic Bishop
Diocese Bathurst
Installed 15 April 2009
Predecessor Patrick Dougherty
Ordination 19 August 1983 (Priest) in
St Paul’s National Seminary, Sydney
Consecration 26 June 2009 (Bishop) in
St Michael and St John's Cathedral, Bathurst
Personal details
Birth name Michael Joseph McKenna
Born (1951-12-08) 8 December 1951 (age 65)
Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Parents Maxwell and Marie (née Warburton) McKenna
Occupation Roman Catholic bishop
Profession Cleric
Alma mater The University of Melbourne
St Paul’s National Seminary, Sydney
Sydney College of Divinity
Gregorian University, Rome
Harvard University
Motto Legato con amore
(Bound with love)[1]

Michael Joseph McKenna DD (8 December 1951 in Bairnsdale, Victoria), an Australian suffragan bishop, is the eighth Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Bathurst, appointed in 2009.

Early years and background[edit]

The eldest of the eleven children born to Maxwell and Marie (née Warburton) McKenna, Michael McKenna was educated at St Patrick's School, Stratford, and at St Patrick's College, Sale. From 1971-74, he studied in the Honours Schools of Political Science and English Literature at The University of Melbourne. With an early interest in audio and video technology, McKenna worked as a producer and presenter on 3RRR-FM and showed works at the Melbourne Fringe and St Kilda Film Festivals. He commenced studying for the priesthood at St Paul's National Seminary, Sydney, and in 1983 was ordained priest by Bishop D'Arcy; graduating in theology from the Sydney College of Divinity in 1984.[2][3]

Returning to Victoria, McKenna was appointed an Assistant Priest in the parish of St Joseph’s, Warragul in the Diocese of Sale before moving to an administrative role as Bishop’s Secretary, Diocesan Secretary and Chancellor where he was a regular columnist in the diocesan monthly newspaper, Catholic Life. While undertaking postgraduate studies from the Gregorian University in Rome, in 1991 McKenna was elected as General Secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference, based in Canberra. During 1998 he was Administrator of Lumen Christi Parish, Churchill before taking up a Resident Fellowship in the Divinity School of Harvard University.[2][3]

Serving as rector of Corpus Christi College from 1999 until 2005, McKenna established strong links between the Seminary and the Catholic Church in Vietnam. He was a member of the Senate of Catholic Theological College and of the Melbourne College of Divinity, where he served as chair of the Board of Ministry Studies.[2]

In 2006, McKenna was appointed as Catholic Chaplain to the University of Melbourne, where it is reported he reintroduced the celebration of Mass on campus and started new groups in social service, biblical study, Christian meditation and philosophy and faith. In 2007, he took on the pastoral care of All Saints Parish, Fitzroy, an inner city community of many cultures, most notably Vietnamese and Sudanese. That year, he was elected to the Archbishop’s Council of Priests and appointed to the Melbourne Catholic-Evangelical-Pentecostal Dialogue.[2][3]

Roman Catholic Bishop of Bathurst[edit]

On 15 April 2009 Reverend Father McKenna was appointed as Bishop of the Diocese of Bathurst and was consecrated on 26 June 2009 by George Cardinal Pell, together with Bishops Emeritus Patrick Dougherty and Jeremiah Coffey,[4] Bishop of Sale. It was the first time since the ordination of Bishop O'Farrell in 1920 that a bishop was consecrated in the Cathedral of St Michael and St John's.[5]


  1. ^ "Bishop McKenna crest explanation" (PDF). Catholic Diocese of Bathurst. 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Michael Joseph McKenna: Bishop of Bathurst" (PDF). Catholic Diocese of Bathurst. 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c "O'Kelly to Port Pirie, McKenna for Bathurst". CathNews. Australia. 16 April 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Bishop Michael Joseph McKenna: Bishop of Bathurst". The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church. 19 February 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Bells toll for eighth bishop of Bathurst". Central Western Daily. Australia. 26 June 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Patrick Dougherty
8th Catholic Bishop of Bathurst
2009 – present
Succeeded by