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Death of retired military Bishop Geoffrey Mayne

75 year old retired Military Bishop Geoffrey Mayne died peacefully in hospital yesterday after a long illness, weeks after the consecration of his successor.

Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference President, Archbishop Francis Carroll, said Bishop Mayne was passionate, both in his service of God and defence personnel.

"He was absolutely committed to the spiritual welfare of our serving men and women and his love of Christ and the Church always shone through in his colourful and sometimes mischievous personality," Archbishop Carroll said.

Despite his failing health, Bishop Mayne last month achieved his wish to episcopally ordain his successor, Bishop Max Davis, in a moving consecration Mass at Canberra's St Christopher's Cathedral.

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. After leaving the military, he was named Catholic Military Vicar in 1984. Two years later, the Catholic Military Vicariate was elevated by Pope John Paul II to a diocese, to be called the Military Ordinariate of Australia.

Archbishop Carroll said: "His leadership has meant so much to our defence personnel, not least earlier this year, as they were again called to serve their nation in conflict."

His Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St Christopher's Cathedral in Manuka (ACT) on Wednesday 24 September 2003 at 10:00 am.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

Australian Catholic Defence Diocese
Installation today for new Military Bishop (22/8/03)
New Catholic bishop for Australian Defence Force (17/7/03)
Military bishop to celebrate farewell Anzac Day Mass (23/5/03)
Military bishop voices support for Australian troops (20/3/03)
Army priests a model for their peers in civvies (Chris McGillion, Sydney Morning Herald)
Bishop Geoffrey Francis Mayne (

16 Sep 2003