Tasmanian priest to lead Maitland-Newcastle diocese

A priest originally from Tasmania has been appointed the new Diocesan Administrator to the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, following the recent death of Bishop Bill Wright.

Fr Greg Barker said he was honoured to follow in the footsteps of Bishop Wright, the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese reported.

“I feel privileged to have been entrusted with this role,” he said.

“And with the help of the parish leaders and the staff in the Diocese I know together we will uphold the amazing testament of Bishop Bill”.

Fr Greg grew up in Tasmania, where he worked as a parish priest for over 21 years before moving to the Maitland-Newcastle Parish in New South Wales in January 2015. As Diocesan Administrator, Fr Greg will lead the Diocese, which covers the Hunter region and Mid-North Coast of New South Wales, until Pope Francis appoints a new bishop.

He will also continue in his role as parish priest of Boolaroo, Warners Bay and Booragul.

Fr Greg was appointed by the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle’s College of Consultors, the group of priests who have a canonical role in the governance of the Diocese.

Bishop Wright, the eighth bishop of the Diocese, passed away on Saturday 13 November aged 69, at Maitland Hospital, after a battle with lung cancer.

He had submitted his resignation to Pope Francis earlier this year, prior to announcing the news of his ill health in September.

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