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Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes

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Title: Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes  
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Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes

Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes
Dioecesis Vilcanniensis-Forbesinus
Sacred Heart cathedral in Broken Hill; consecrated in 1905
Country Australia
Territory Far West region of New South Wales
Metropolitan Archdiocese of Sydney
Area 414,398 km2 (160,000 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2004)
Decrease 118,257
Decrease 35,904 (Increase 30.4%)
Parishes Steady 20
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Latin Rite
Established 10 May 1887 as the Diocese of Wilcania; 28 July 1917 as the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes
Cathedral Sacred Heart, Broken Hill
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Columba Macbeth Green
Metropolitan Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP
Vicar General Kevin Michael Manning
Emeritus Bishops Christopher 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, and then changed to the current name in 1917. The diocese covers the Far West region of New South Wales in Australia.


  • History 1
  • Bishop of Wilcannia and Bishops of Wilcannia-Forbes 2
  • Cathedral 3
  • Parishes 4
  • Boundaries 5
  • Schools 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


In 1887 the Diocese of Wilcannia was erected by Pope Leo XIII from territory from the three now-neighbouring dioceses: Armidale, Bathurst, and Goulburn (now Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese), making it one of the oldest dioceses in Australia. The name of the diocese was changed in 1917 to the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes to take account of the geographic centre of the large rural diocese, as well as population growth in the area of Forbes and neighbouring Parkes. The bishop's office is in Forbes.

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.[1] The Pope appointed Sydney auxiliary bishop Terence Brady as apostolic administrator from 2009 until 2011. In 2011 the Bishop Emeritus of Parramatta, Kevin Michael Manning, was appointed to succeed Brady.[2]

Bishop of Wilcannia and Bishops of Wilcannia-Forbes

The following individual was elected as Bishop of Wilcannia:[3]

Order Name Date enthroned Reign 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:[3]

Order Name Date enthroned Reign 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 0 years, 305 days Currently bishop

In absence of an elected Bishop, the following individuals 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):[4]
Image Location Coordinates Name Built
Balranald St Dymphna
Barham Sacred Heart
Bogan Gate All Saints
Booligal St Michael
Bourke Holy Spirit and St Ignatius
Brewarrina St Patrick
Broken Hill Sacred Heart Cathedral 1905
Buronga St Micheal
Cobar St Laurence O'Toole
Condobolin St Joseph
Dareton St Maria Goretti
Deniliquin St Michael
Fifield St Dymphna
Forbes St Laurence O'Toole
Cobar St John Vianney
Hay St Fergal
Hillston Our Lady of Good Counsel
Ivanhoe St Laurence O'Toole
Mathoura St Brigid
Menindee St Patrick
Moama St Aloysius
Moulamein St Mary
Narromine Blessed Sacrament and St Augustine
Nevertire St Brigid
North Broken Hill Ss Peter and Paul
Nymagee St Mary
Nyngan St Patrick
Parkes Holy Family
Peak Hill St James
Tooleybuc St Mary
Tottenham St Anthony
Trangie St Carthage
Trundle St Michael
Tullamore St Mary
Wakool St Joseph
Warren St Mary
Wentworth St Francis Xavier
Wilcannia St John
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.


See also


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

External links

  • Catholic Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes
  • Schools Office - Catholic Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes
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