Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes

Dioecesis Vilcanniensis-Forbesinus
Sacred Heart cathedral in Broken Hill; consecrated in 1960
TerritoryFar West region of New South Wales
MetropolitanArchdiocese of Sydney
Coordinates31°57′12″S 141°27′33″E / 31.95333°S 141.45917°E / -31.95333; 141.45917
Area414,398 km2 (160,000 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2004)
Decrease 118,257
Decrease 35,904 (Increase 30.4%)
ParishesSteady 20
DenominationRoman Catholic
RiteLatin Rite
Established10 May 1887 as the Diocese of Wilcania; 28 July 1917 as the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes
CathedralSacred Heart, Broken Hill
Current leadership
BishopColumba Macbeth-Green
Metropolitan ArchbishopAnthony Fisher OP
Vicar GeneralKevin Michael Manning
Bishops emeritusChristopher Henry Toohey
Catholic Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes is a suffragan Latin Rite diocese of the Archdiocese of Sydney, established in 1887, initially as the Diocese of Wilcannia (this town on the Darling River was then important due to the dominance of river transport), and then changed to the current name in 1917. At this time, six parochial districts of Bathurst Diocese, including those of Parkes and Forbes, were added to its western neighbour.[1] The diocese covers the Far West region of New South Wales in Australia. The Bishop's office is in Forbes but his seat is in Sacred Heart Cathedral, Broken Hill.


In 1887, the Diocese of Wilcannia was erected by Pope Leo XIII, on territories taken from the three now-neighbouring dioceses: Armidale, Bathurst (see below) and Goulburn (later absorbed in the present Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese), making it one of the oldest dioceses in Australia.

In 1917, the area of the diocese was enlarged (at the expense of the neighbouring diocese of Bathurst) and its name changed to the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes to take account of the added parishes.

On 9 June 2009, Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Bishop Christopher Toohey due to reasons of personal health. In April 2011, Bishop Toohey released a personal statement admitting that his behaviour during the early years of his ministry with young adults in his pastoral care was "not consistent with that required of a good person". Although the specific behaviours were not mentioned, the church stated that any acts were not criminal in nature. To date, Bishop Toohey is the most senior member of the church to admit to inappropriate behaviour with young adults.[2] The Pope appointed Sydney auxiliary bishop Terence Brady as apostolic administrator from 2009 until 2011.[citation needed] In 2011 the Bishop Emeritus of Parramatta, Kevin Michael Manning, was appointed to succeed Brady.[3]

Bishop of Wilcannia and Bishops of Wilcannia-Forbes[edit]

The following individual was elected as Bishop of Wilcannia:[4]

Order Name Date installed Term ended Term of office Reason for term end
1 John Dunne 13 May 1887 25 December 1916 29 years, 226 days Died in office

The following individuals have been elected as Bishop of Wilcannia-Forbes:[4]

Order Name Date installed Term ended Term of office Reason for term end
1 William Hayden 13 March 1918 11 February 1930 11 years, 335 days Elevated as Archbishop of Hobart
2 Thomas Martin Fox 9 June 1931 10 July 1967 36 years, 31 days Died in office
3 Douglas Joseph Warren 26 September 1967 30 March 1994 26 years, 185 days Retired and appointed Bishop Emeritus of Wilcannia-Forbes
4 Barry Francis Collins 30 March 1994 15 November 2000 6 years, 230 days Died in office
5 Christopher Henry Toohey 9 July 2001 9 June 2009 7 years, 335 days Resigned and appointed Bishop Emeritus of Wilcannia-Forbes
6 Columba Macbeth-Green 12 April 2014 present 5 years, 69 days Currently bishop

In absence of an appointed Bishop, the following bishops have been appointed as Apostolic Administrator of Wilcannia-Forbes:


Sacred Heart Cathedral, Broken Hill has been the cathedral of the diocese since 1905, though the bishops of Wilcannia had their residence in Broken Hill since 1889. The cathedral parish has some 5,500 parishioners, most of whom live in Broken Hill.


Churches are located in the following parishes and locations (dedicated to saints as indicated):[5]

Image Location Coordinates Name Built
Balranald Roman Catholic Church 005.JPG Balranald 34°38′16″S 143°33′52″E / 34.6377682645°S 143.564399601°E / -34.6377682645; 143.564399601 St Dymphna
Barham Sacred Heart
Bogan Gate Roman Catholic Church 001.JPG Bogan Gate All Saints
BooligalCatholicChurch.JPG Booligal St Michael
Bourke Holy Spirit and St Ignatius
Brewarrina St Patrick
BrokenHillRomanCatholicCathedral.JPG Broken Hill Sacred Heart Cathedral 1905
Buronga St Micheal
Cobar St Laurence O'Toole
Condobolin Roman Catholic Church 001.JPG Condobolin 33°5′3″S 147°8′46″E / 33.08417°S 147.14611°E / -33.08417; 147.14611 (St Joseph's Condobolin) St Joseph
DaretonRomanCatholicChurch.JPG Dareton St Maria Goretti
DeniliquinCatholicChurch.JPG Deniliquin St Michael
Fifield Roman Catholic Church 003.JPG Fifield St Dymphna
Forbes Roman Catholic Church 001.JPG Forbes 32°22′48″S 148°0′29″E / 32.38000°S 148.00806°E / -32.38000; 148.00806 (Laurence O'Toole's, Forbes) St Laurence O'Toole
Goolgowi Roman Catholic Church 003.JPG Goolgowi St John Vianney
HayRomanCatholicChurch.JPG Hay St Fergal
Hillston Roman Catholic Church.JPG Hillston Our Lady of Good Counsel
Ivanhoe St Laurence O'Toole
Mathoura Roman Catholic Church 003.JPG Mathoura St Brigid
MenindeeRomanCatholicChurch.JPG Menindee St Patrick
MoamaCatholicChurch.JPG Moama St Aloysius
MoulameinRomanCatholicChurch.JPG Moulamein St Mary
Narromine Blessed Sacrament and St Augustine
Nevertire St Brigid
North Broken Hill Ss Peter and Paul
Nymagee St Mary
Nyngan 31°33′48″S 147°11′29″E / 31.56333°S 147.19139°E / -31.56333; 147.19139 (St Patrick's Nyngan) St Patrick
Parkes Roman Catholic Church 001.JPG Parkes 33°08′17″S 148°10′35″E / 33.1380671328°S 148.176515981°E / -33.1380671328; 148.176515981 Holy Family
Peak Hill - Church.jpg Peak Hill St James
Tooleybuc Roman Catholic Church.JPG Tooleybuc 35°1′43″S 143°20′23″E / 35.02861°S 143.33972°E / -35.02861; 143.33972 (St Mary's, Tooleybuc) St Mary
Tottenham - Catholic Church.jpg Tottenham St Anthony
TrangieRomanCatholicChurch.JPG Trangie St Carthage
Trundle Roman Catholic Church 001.JPG Trundle St Michael
Tullamore St Mary
Wakool Roman Catholic Church.JPG Wakool St Joseph
Warren St Mary
WentworthRomanCatholicChurch.JPG Wentworth St Francis Xavier
Wilcannia St John
Womboota Roman Catholic Church 002.JPG Womboota St Paul


With 414,398 square kilometres (160,000 sq mi) in its territory, the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes is the largest diocese in New South Wales. More than half of the State is part of its territory. The Diocese comprises the territory in New South Wales west of a line from the River Murray 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) west of Tocumwal, to the Murrumbidgee River near Darlington Point, to the Lachlan River 32 kilometres (20 mi) down from Euabalong but excluding the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area; thence to the eastern boundary by the Lachlan River including the whole of the Forbes Shire. The eastern boundary is the Eurow-Nyrang Mountains, the Harvey Range, a line from the junction of the Brummagen Creek and the Macquarie River to a point on the Macquarie River 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) north of Warren, thence north in a straight line crossing the Barwon River, 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) west of Walgett, to the Queensland border, including Carinda, Lightning Ridge and Goodooga. The boundaries were enlarged in 1917 to include six new parochial areas taken from Bathurst Diocese, including the parishes of Forbes and Parkes.[6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ of wilcannia&searchLimits=l-decade=191
  2. ^ "Retired bishop admits to 'inappropriate behaviour'" (transcript). Lateline. Australia. 28 April 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
  3. ^ "Bishop Manning new Administrator for Wilcannia-Forbes". News. Catholic Diocese of Parramatta. 5 January 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes". The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church. 21 May 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2007.
  5. ^ "The Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes Parishes". Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes. 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  6. ^ of wilcannia&searchLimits=l-decade=191

External links[edit]