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Military bishop to celebrate farewell Anzac Day Mass

Friday's Anzac Day commemoration will mark the end of an era when Australia's Military Bishop Geoffrey Mayne celebrates what is likely to be his last Anzac Mass before retirement.

Bishop Mayne, who was ordained bishop in February 1985, will celebrate his 75th birthday in August, reaching the age when bishops are required to offer their resignation to the Pope.

He was ordained priest for the Sydney Archdiocese in July 1956. In 1965 he was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy and received Commodore status in 1977 as Principal Chaplain, Navy. In 1983, following retirement as a military chaplain, he was named as Catholic Military Vicar. In 1986 the Catholic Military Vicariate was abolished and it became the Military Ordinariate of Australia, equivalent to a diocese.

Bishop Mayne has been on leave in recent months, due to illness, but Monsignor William Fuller of the Military Ordinariate said Bishop Mayne was looking forward to celebrating the Anzac Day Mass at Canberra's St Christopher's Cathedral.

"I'm sure it will be a very emotional occasion, as we reflect on the wonderful contribution Bishop Mayne has made as leader of the Military Ordinariate in Australia," Monsignor Fuller said. "He has been an inspirational and totally committed pastor to the military men and women of this nation and his leadership both spiritual and otherwise has meant so much to them, not least in recent weeks, as they were again called to serve their nation in conflict."

Catholic Military Ordinariate - Diocese of the Australian Defence Force

Australian Catholic Defence Diocese
Bishop Geoffrey Mayne (
Military bishop voices support for Australian troops (20/3/03)
Army priests a model for their peers in civvies (Chris McGillion, Sydney Morning Herald)
Shortage of Catholic chaplains reflects smaller number of priests (Catholic News Service)

23 Apr 2003