This Diocese is geographically large, taking in half of New South Wales. It incorporates most of western New South Wales, from the Victorian border in the south, to the Queensland border in the north, then west to the South Australian border. The Diocese has twenty-two parishes.

Bishop Columba at the Opening Mass (March 2019)

Bishop Columba at the Opening Mass (March 2019)


In 2014 Bishop Columba was installed as the 7th Bishop of the Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese. Bishop Columba was born in 1968 and grew up in the Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese. After spending two years with Conventual Franciscans, he joined the Order of St. Paul the First Hermit (Pauline Fathers) in 1990, and studied for the Priesthood at Vianney College in Wagga Wagga. He made his Solemn Profession in the Order in 1996, and was ordained a priest the following year. In 2014, at the time of his appointment as Bishop of Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese, he was the Provincial Vicar of the Pauline Fathers for Australia and Rector of the Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Marian Valley, Canungra, Queensland, where he served from 2006 to 2014. Read more about him here.

Bishop Columba’s desire has been realised, to re-establish a Carmelite Monastery in the Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese. The old Carmelite Monastery, which was in Parkes, closed down in the 1980s. To achieve this, Bishop Columba was supported by a committee of faithful, hardworking laity both local to the Diocese and also from around Australia, who were the driving force behind establishing the new monastery in his Diocese.



My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
What a special day today was! Today I welcomed the Carmel in my Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes. As many of you know we had a Carmel in Parkes but it closed down many years ago. Yet today thanks to the grace of God I officially welcomed them BACK with a Pontifical High Mass according to the Missal of 1962, a Liturgy of the Church said prior to the council that these 4 young women will live by and be nourished by. I am so overjoyed that in our Diocese we have a contemplative Carmel that will pray for us all day and every day! Not only for our Diocese but for our nation! We truly now have a powerhouse in our Diocese and knowing that they are here and praying for us, brings me so much comfort and peace. God is so good to us!
God Bless you all

Opening of the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph – 23 March 2019