New Bishop‐Elect for Sydney

21/04/2011

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President Archbishop Philip Wilson has expressed a warm welcome to Bishop-Elect Father Peter Comensoli, who has been named Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Sydney.

Pope Benedict XVI's appointment of the 47-year-old Wollongong priest as Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney was announced by the Bishop of Wollongong, Bishop Peter Ingham, at the Diocese's annual Mass of the Holy Oils in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on Wednesday 20 April.

Archbishop Wilson, who was formerly a Bishop of the Diocese of Wollongong, was happy to hear the announcement and wished Fr Comensoli well in this new role.

"I welcome Fr Comensoli’s appointment as Bishop and it is a wonderful moment for Wollongong," Archbishop Wilson said.

"Fr Comensoli is the first priest of the Wollongong Diocese to be appointed to the episcopacy and this is indeed a great honour for him and the people.

"He will bring many gifts of grace and intelligence to the role of Sydney Auxiliary Bishop and my brother Bishops and I will, in a special way, hold him up in prayer during Holy Week."

Rejoicing with a 'thoroughly Wollongong citizen'

Bishop-Elect Father Peter Comensoli is the fourth son of Margaret and Michael Comensoli of Towradgi, a small beachside suburb just north of Wollongong.

After attending St John Vianney Primary School Fairy Meadow, young Peter completed his secondary education at St Paul’s College Bellambi (now Holy Spirit College). Peter then studied Commerce at the University of Wollongong (1982-1985.)

In 1986, he began studies for the priesthood at St Patrick’s Seminary Manly and was ordained priest by Bishop William Murray at St John Vianney Church Fairy Meadow on 22 May 1992. Fr Peter served in the parishes of Unanderra, Wollongong, Shellharbour and Rosemeadow, before Bishop Philip Wilson in 1998 sent him to study Moral Theology at the Alfonsianum University in Rome.

On his return with a Licentiate in Moral Theology, Peter was appointed Diocesan Chancellor. During this time, Peter was first at West Wollongong Parish, before successively administering the parishes of Berkeley, Port Kembla and Corrimal.

In 2006, Bishop Peter Ingham sent him to St Andrews University in Scotland where he graduated with a Master of Letters in Moral Philosophy. He then began doctoral studies in Theological Ethics at Edinburgh University.

Since returning from Scotland last December, Peter has administered the Parish of Helensburgh. In February this year, he took up a position as Lecturer in Moral Theology at the Catholic Institute of Sydney at Strathfield.

The announcement of Bishop-Elect Fr Comensoli's appointment during the Mass of the Holy Oils in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral was met with spontaneous applause from the clergy and laity of the Wollongong Diocese.

"We rejoice with this thoroughly Wollongong citizen in his new appointment and assure him of our prayerful support," Bishop Ingham said.

"Wollongong’s loss is certainly Sydney’s gain."


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