2012-05-14 Vatican RadioPope Benedict XVI has appointed Monsignor Robert McGuckin, Vicar General of the Diocese of Parramatta, the sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Toowoomba, Australia.
A highly respected canon lawyer, Msgr. McGuckin has been engaged in positions of leadership in the Archdiocese of Sydney and the Diocese of Parramatta. He is presently Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia in Parramatta as well as Judicial Vicar of the Regional Tribunal for News South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
Reacting to news of his appointment, the Bishop-elect stated : “I’m honoured and humbled to be appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as Bishop of Toowoomba. I would hope to build upon the good work of my predecessors and look forward to working with the clergy, religious and everyone in the Diocese. I ask for your prayers as together we strive to fulfil the mission entrusted us in building up the Kingdom of God”.
Mgr McGuckin said in his vocation he has been mindful of Matthew 20:28 - ‘He came to serve, not to be served’.
Born January 28, 1944 in Sydney, New South Wales, the bishop elect studied at St. Pius Elementary School, Enmore Primary and De la Salle College, Marrickville, and attended the Sutherland Shire Evening College and the Metropolitan Business College. In 1967 he joined the St. Columba's Seminary and in 1970 continued his training for the priesthood at the Seminary of Manly.
He was ordained October 20, 1973 for the Archdiocese of Sydney. In 1993 he was incardinated in the Diocese of Parramatta.
He received his License and Masters in Canon Law at St. Paul University in Ottawa (Canada).
After his ordination, he held the following positions: assistant parish priest in Matraville (1973-1975), Official of the Regional Tribunal of New South Wales (1975-1997), Administrator of the Parish of Mascot (1976-1978), Administrator of the Parish of Botony (1978-1981); University in Ottawa, Canada (1981-1984), Administrator of the Parish of Rosebery (1984-1986), Resident Priest in the Parish of Blacktown (1986-1997) and Professor of Canon Law at the Catholic Theological Union (1989-1996), Judicial Vicar of Parramatta (1991-1997), Diocesan Administrator of the vacant seat of Parramatta (1997), Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia of Parramatta (1998-2012), President of the Canon Law Society of Australia and New Zealand ( 1999-2006).
Msgr. McGuckin is a member of the Canon Law Society of Australia and New Zealand (and past president 1999-2006) and member of the Canon Law Society of America. . He is an affiliate of Finsia Financial Services Institute of Australasia and a Justice of the Peace for New South Wales.
The diocese of Toowoomba covers more than 490,000 square kilometres spanning from below the Great Dividing Range in the east, south to the New South Wales Border, west as far as the Northern Territory and South Australian borders and north taking in the areas of Taroom and Cracow. Within that territory there are 35 Catholic parishes who serve the faithful through schools, churches, Catholic Charities, ecumenical works and many other Catholic agencies and institutions.