Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Greg Bennet from the Archdiocese of Melbourne to be the 10th bishop of Sale in Victoria’s south east.
The 57-year-old is currently parish priest of the inner city parish of St Joseph’s in West Brunswick.
Melbourne’s Archbishop Peter A Comensoli said that Bishop-elect Bennet “has given a generous and deep commitment to the people of God” in the archdiocese for the past 28 years. “The people of Sale are blessed to have him as their new shepherd and I know they will welcome him warmly,” Archbishop Comensoli said.
“He has also been a personal friend over many years and I wish to acknowledge his wonderful support to me in my own ministry. On behalf of the people of Melbourne, we offer our prayers for Mgr Greg and for the people of Sale.”
Sale’s diocesan administrator Father Peter Slater also welcomed the appointment. “I am sure the people, religious, priests and agencies of the diocese will be glad to make him welcome when he comes among us,” Fr Slater said.
New bishop “humbled” by appointment
Bishop-Elect Bennet said he was humbled by the “enormous responsibility and privilege” of being asked to undertake the appointment. It is a responsibility which cannot be exercised in isolation, but in close cooperation with the clergy, the faithful and those in diocesan leadership,” he said.
“I know that I come to Sale as a stranger, but I pray that we shall grow together as brothers and sisters in the Lord. I pray the Patroness of the Diocese, Our Lady of Perpetual Help will guide us as we build on the rich legacy of the Catholic faith in Sale and as we work together for the Reign of God.
“The warmth of welcome has already been extended and such kindness is a reflection of the living Word of God. I know of the majestic beauty of the Diocese, and am mindful of the tragedy of the fires of last summer and the enduring suffering of many.
“The Diocese has clearly responded with great care, compassion and charity to those who have lived through such a traumatic experience and now begin to reorient their lives: These efforts will have my full support.”
Bishop-Elect Bennet was ordained a priest in Melbourne in 1992. He has held several leadership positions within the Archdiocese of Melbourne, including as director of Ministry to Priests and later as inaugural director of the Office for Evangelisation.
His appointment follows the recent departure from Sale of Bishop Patrick O’Regan who was installed as Archbishop of Adelaide last month.