Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Brian Heenan of Rockhampton, who turned 76 in August.
Bishop Heenan was ordained to the priesthood in 1962 and appointed a Bishop in 1991.
Archbishop Denis Hart, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, spoke warmly of Bishop Heenan. “Since 1991 Bishop Heenan has used his special gifts with compassion for many people in Rockhampton and beyond. He has shown great generosity and friendship to me and to the bishops in working for the people of Australia. We wish him every blessing for the future”, he said.
Bishop Heenan speaks well of his time in the Diocese, and found his ministry was enriched by the people he served. “The Diocese of has three major coastal cities, Bundaberg, Rockhampton and Mackay, with larger regional centres at Emerald and Longreach, and with many smaller vibrant communities.
“Getting to know the different aspects of the Diocese was extremely interesting. From the rural areas of agriculture, the cattle and sheep industries, across to the coastal belt with its focus on the sugarcane industry, and with the mining industry touching many parts of the Diocese I have learned so much”, he said.
“There has been an incredible variety of activity in the diocese. The wonderful people in all of those areas simply taught me so much about their lives, their own ministries and their love for the church and their communities.”
Bishop Heenan will retire to Brisbane to be closer to his family.
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