07 May 2018

Catholics mourn death of Archbishop Faulkner

Archbishop Faulkner 4.jpg

Media Release – Monday May 7 2018

Catholics mourn the death of Archbishop Faulkner

The Catholic communities of South Australia and Townsville are today mourning the death of Emeritus Archbishop Leonard Faulkner.

The much-loved former Archbishop of the Adelaide Archdiocese and Bishop of Townsville diocese died yesterday afternoon at the Pines Lodge in Adelaide, aged 91.

The eldest of ten children, he was born in Booleroo Centre in the southern Flinders Ranges on December 5 1926 and after entering the seminary at Rostrevor was ordained a priest in January 1 1950 in Rome.

He was appointed Bishop of Townsville on November 28 1967 and on June 19 1985 he was installed as the seventh Archbishop of Adelaide where he continued his commitment to, and support of, the lay people as a critical part of the life of the Church.

He established the Diocesan Pastoral Team which gave lay women a role in governance, and pioneered a unique model of neighbourhood communities based on the Second Vatican Council’s challenge that the Church be one that looks outward to the community.

He was passionately involved in ecumenical and interfaith initiatives, support for migrants and refugees, Aboriginal communities and the Young Christian Workers movement.

During the AIDS epidemic he demonstrated his bold and compassionate leadership by establishing the Diocesan AIDS Council and an extensive volunteer program to support those affected.

After Archbishop Faulkner’s retirement in 2001 he continued to serve the people – sitting on various committees, saying Mass regularly and visiting the sick. He also used his retirement to catch up with his large family which includes more than 60 first cousins.

Last November he became only the third bishop in the history of the Australian Catholic Church to reach his 50-year milestone as a bishop.

Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson extended his deepest sympathy to Archbishop Faulkner’s family and friends and asked the clergy, religious and people of the Archdiocese to pray for the repose of his soul.

“We grieve his death deeply, but we also give thanks for his life and his outstanding service to the gospel and to all whom he led,” he said.

Tributes and words of affection for Archbishop Faulkner have flowed into the Archdiocese since his death was announced yesterday on social media.

His funeral Mass will be held in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on Monday May 14 at 11am, following a vigil service in the Cathedral commencing at 7.30pm on Sunday May 13.


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