Monsignor humbled to serve God’s people


Prelate of Honour of His Holiness News Story
Prelate of Honour of His Holiness...Diocese of Parramatta Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, Right Rev Monsignor Robert McGuckin VG EV. Photo: Alphonsus Fok & Grace Lu

Catholic Diocese of Parramatta Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, Right Rev Monsignor Robert McGuckin VG EV, has been made a Prelate of Honour of His Holiness.

Mgr McGuckin officially received the award and the title of ‘Monsignor’ when the Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, made the announcement at the 2011 Chrism Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Wednesday 20 April.

I’m humbled by being named by Pope Benedict XVI a Prelate of Honour of His Holiness,” Mgr McGuckin said. “I express my thanks to Bishop Anthony for his confidence in petitioning for such an award.

“In my priesthood I’ve been blessed by working with so many wonderful people in the Chancery, in the Tribunal and throughout the Diocese – people who each day faithfully live out the mission entrusted to them.

“I give thanks to God for being given the opportunity in some small way to serve His people.”

Mgr McGuckin has been Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia since appointed to the dual role by Bishop Kevin Manning, in August 1997. He had previously been appointed Judicial Vicar and Episcopal Vicar for Religious.

Mgr McGuckin continues to serve as Episcopal Vicar for Religious and is also currently Vicar for Health and Social Welfare in the Diocese, Chairman of the Council of Priests and member of the College of Consultors, Chairman of Diocesan Audit and Risk Management Committee and Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Mission. Mgr McGuckin is also the Diocesan Member representative for St John of God Health Australia and Diocesan representative for Catholic Healthcare.

Mgr McGuckin holds degrees in Theology and Canon Law and has extensive experience in Church Tribunals, where he is an accredited Ecclesiastical Judge.

Mgr McGuckin is a Sessional Lecturer in the School of Law at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Director of the Institute of Tribunal Practice for Australia and New Zealand and Associate Judicial Vicar for the Appeal Tribunal for the Bishops Conference of the Pacific. He is a canonical adviser to Bishops and Provincials and, apart from lecturing in Australia, he has also conducted Seminars in Singapore, Malaysia and Fiji.

He is a member of the Canon Law Society of Australia and New Zealand (and past president 1999-2006), member of the Canon Law Society of America and an affiliate of Finsia Financial Services Institute of Australasia.

His Seminary studies were at St Columba’s Seminary Springwood and St Patrick’s College Manly. He was ordained a priest on 20 October 1973 - the day the Sydney Opera House was opened.

Mgr McGuckin said in his vocation he has been mindful of Matthew 20:28 - ‘He came to serve, not to be served’.

“You don’t really plan. You respond to what the needs are,” Mgr McGuckin said. “You do what you’re asked to do.”

As one who has been called to be a ‘Fisher of Men’, it is perhaps fitting that for his relaxation, Mgr McGuckin prefers a spot of fishing of the regular kind, in Brisbane Waters on the Central Coast.


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