A MAITLAND-Newcastle Catholic priest who admitted he “wasn’t overly keen on the idea of priesthood” as a young man has been named the new Bishop of Wollongong.
Father Brian Mascord, the Vicar General to Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright, was appointed by Pope Francis and the announcement made at 10pm on Thursday.
“I think it is a very fine appointment,” said Bishop Wright in a statement shortly after the diocese was advised.
“I am not so much gaining a colleague on the episcopal bench as losing a Vicar General. Brian has been of great assistance to me and has given great and generous service to the diocese. He will be missed.”
Father Mascord is parish priest at MacKillop, ministering to parishioners at Charlestown, Gateshead and Redhead.
In an article for the diocese he said he grew up in a family of faith but “wasn't overly keen on the idea of priesthood”.
“It took me a number of years to finally listen to what God was asking of me,” he wrote, noting that people suggested he would make a good priest, and asked “When are you going to stop fooling around and think about going into the seminary?”
He has been an ordained priest for more than 25 years.
Bishop Wright said Father Mascord had three months to arrange his ordination.
“All of us can take some pride in one of our own being called to so important a ministry in the wider church,” Bishop Wright said.
The current Bishop of Wollongong is Peter Ingham. The diocese of Wollongong was established in 1951.