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Former Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn Francis Carroll has died aged 93

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Photo: Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn/Supplied

Archbishop Francis Carroll, who served as Bishop of Wagga Wagga and Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn during almost 70 years of distinguished priestly service has died today in Wagga Wagga at the age of 93.

Born on 9 September 1930 in Ganmain, New South Wales, he was the second of seven children of Patrick and Rose Carroll.

He attended the local Ganmain School before transferring to Sydney and completed his secondary education with the De La Salle Brothers in Marrickville.

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His seminary studies were conducted at St Columba’s Seminary, Springwood and St Patrick’s Seminary, Manly. He was ordained a priest at Ganmain by Bishop Francis Augustine Henschke, Bishop of Wagga Wagga.

He has always been regarded as profoundly pastoral and humble in his long service to the church.

Frank Carroll succeeded Bishop Henschke as bishop of Wagga Wagga in 1968 In 1983, he was appointed Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn until 2006. He was President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference from 2000 to 2006. In 2006, he retired and returned to Wagga Wagga.

In recent times, Archbishop Carroll has suffered from indifferent health and has been resident at Loreto Home of Compassion in Wagga Wagga.

“Archbishop Francis always retained the personal charm of his rural family background. So many loved him as a Catholic leader of immense stature,” said Archbishop Christopher Prowse of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn.

“Simply called Father Francis by friends and parishioners over the years, he was always approachable.

“His humble and prayerful manner will be remembered by so many.”

A Pontifical Requiem Mass will be celebrated for Archbishop Carroll at St Christopher’s Cathedral, Canberra, at 11am on 21 March.

Funeral liturgies will also be offered at St Brendan’s Ganmain at 7pm on 19 March, St Michael’s Cathedral Wagga Wagga at 11am on 20 March, and St Christopher’s Cathedral at 7:30pm on 20 March.

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