Coadjutor Bishop appointed to the Diocese of Lancaster

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Message from the Diocese of Lancaster:

Coadjutor Bishop appointed

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Fr Michael Campbell OSA coadjutor Bishop in the Diocese of Lancaster. As coadjutor he will have the right of succession, thus on the retirement of Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue in the summer of 2009, Bishop Campbell will become the sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Lancaster. On receiving news of the appointment Bishop O’Donoghue said he was “absolutely delighted to be able to welcome Bishop-elect Michael Campbell to the Diocese of Lancaster. How wonderful it is, that after many months of consultation, an appointment has been made of someone who is already known by many people in the Diocese since he worked here previously.” – Fr Campbell was in fact ordained priest in the chapel of the Austin Friars School in Carlisle. Later he taught at the School, and was also the Episcopal Vicar for religious in the Diocese of Lancaster from 1990-1999. – “I am delighted that Pope Benedict acceded to my request for a coadjutor and very much look forward to welcoming Bishop-elect Campbell in person and to work with him in the ongoing task of evangelisation. The diocese of Lancaster has a proud and rich heritage of Martyrs – of witnesses to the Gospel – this work we proudly continue today. We are very blessed to have been sent this man of prayer and learning to help the Diocese become still more ‘Fit for Mission’.”

On hearing of his appointment Bishop–elect Campbell said: “I feel humbled and deeply touched by my appointment by Pope Benedict XVI as Coadjutor Bishop of Lancaster. It was in the Lancaster diocese that I was ordained priest and have the happiest memories of the ten years I spent working in the diocese with the late Bishop John Brewer. I have always found the Clergy, Religious and people of the diocese of Lancaster warm and friendly. In a sense I feel I am coming back home and I greatly look forward, with God’s grace, to working with Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue and serving the diocese as a bishop.”

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor said:

“I am delighted at the appointment of Fr Michael Campbell OSA as Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Lancaster. Fr Michael has been a very devoted servant of the Diocese of Westminster as parish priest and Episcopal vicar of the Religious for many years. He has endeared himself to all the religious and people whom he has served. He is very well known in the Diocese of Lancaster and the bishop-elect will be warmly welcomed by everyone: priests, religious and lay people.”

Brief Biography of Rev Michael Campbell OSA

Michael Campbell OSA, was born in Larne, N. Ireland, on 2nd October 1941. He comes from a family of six: three brothers and two sisters. After attending Campion House, Osterley, 1960-1962, he entered the Augustinian Order at Clare Priory in August 1962. On completion of his novitiate he studied philosophy in Dublin for two years, and subsequently obtained BA in Semitic languages in University College, Dublin. He completed his studies for the priesthood at the Gregorian University, Rome, 1968-1772, having been ordained priest by Bishop Pearson in the chapel of Austin Friars School, Carlisle on 16th September 1971.

He served as teacher-chaplain at Christ the King School, Southport, and also as parish curate at St John Stone’s 1972-1975. From 1972-1985 he served in St Monica’s, Hoxton, London as Prior of the community and teacher-chaplain at Bishop Challoner Girls’ School in the East End of London. During this period he obtained his Master’s degree in Biblical Studies from King’s College.

Michael Campbell served in Jos, Northern Nigeria at St Augustine’s Major Seminary when he lectured in Scripture 1985 -1989. He then worked in the Diocese of Lancaster, teaching at Austin Friars School and holding the post of Episcopal Vicar for Religious under the late Bishop Brewer, 1990- 1999. For the last eight years he has been Prior and Parish Priest of St Augustine’s Parish, Hammersmith in the archdiocese of Westminster, where he has been Episcopal Vicar for religious.