Bishop Michael Robert Kennedy

Bishop Kennedy was born on 13th May 1968 in Wagga Wagga NSW Australia. He is the youngest of nine children born to John and Fidelma Kennedy.

Bishop Kennedy was educated in Wagga Wagga by the Christian Brothers. Following schooling he attended the Sydney Catholic College of Education undertaking a Diploma in Education. He then taught for three years at Xavier Catholic College in Albury, Wagga Wagga Diocese.

In 1992 he entered Vianney College the Wagga Wagga Diocesan Seminary. In 1994 he continued his academic studies in Rome. At the Urban College of Propaganda Fide he obtained a Licentiate in Sacred Theology. At the Marianum Pontifical School he obtained a Diploma in Mariology.

Bishop Kennedy was ordained to the priesthood on 14th August, 1999. Over the next 12 years he held the following positions:

  • Assistant Priest and Parish Priest
  • Rector of Saint Francis’ Residential College at Charles Sturt University
  • Lecturer in Moral Theology, Mariology and Church History at Vianney College
  • Diocesan Director of Vocations
  • Member of Diocesan Council of Priests and College of Consultors
  • Diocesan Catholic Schools Commission member
  • Vicar Forane


Bishop Kennedy was appointed as the 10th Bishop of Armidale by Pope Benedict XVI in an announcement made on 7th December 2011. He was ordained and installed as Bishop of Armidale on 9th February 2012 at Saints Mary & Joseph’s Cathedral Armidale.

In November 2011 Bishop Kennedy was appointed the Apostolic Administrator of the Wilcannia Forbes Diocese. He held this position until July 2014.

He is currently a member of the:

Bishop’s Commission for Family Youth & Life

Australian Catholic Marriage & Family Council as the Bishop delegate

Bishop’s Commission for Justice, Ecology & Development

Catholic Earthcare as the Bishop delegate

Plenary Council 2020 organising committee

NSW/ACT Bishop’s Province Catholic Studies Project – Bishop delegate

Coat of Arms

The arms parlant and motto which Bishop Kennedy has adopted (opposite right or left, upper or lower) say, heraldically, Michael Kennedy, Fisher of Men.

The arms are blazoned, in heraldic terms, Argent, a cross botonne between two helms sable, a chief azure fretty Or. They may be described as a silver field with a red cross botonne (emblem of St Michael which also appeared in a slightly different form in the arms of the Diocese of Armidale from 1904 until 1932) with two black helmets (from the arms of Bishop Kennedy’s Irish sept) and a blue chief with a gold fret (suggesting a fisherman’s net for his role as fisher of men.) The motto translates as the exhortation “Go forth and teach” further reflecting his role as fisher of men.

The arms of the Diocese of Armidale as used since 1948 (opposite right or left, upper or lower) are blazoned as Per fess, gules a pascal lamb regardant proper standing on a book argent bound or with seven seals pendant or; and azure, the monogram MR below an orle of twelve mullets or. The diocesan shield of arms is divided into halves. The upper half is red with a pascal lamb in its natural colours looking behind standing on a silver book with gold binding and seven pendant gold seals. The lower half is blue with the monogram for Maria Regina beneath a circlet of gold stars. The arms of the Diocese are shown with a simple episcopal cross and the mitre of a bishop.

The Bishop’s personal arms will most generally be used impaled with the arms of the diocese (front cover) as his arms of office as Bishop of Armidale. Whether alone or impaled, the Bishop’s arms will be shown with a Celtic processional cross to reflect his families Irish origins and the green galero (Roman hat) with six fiocci (tassles) on each side which are proper to a bishop.

The arms were designed by Richard d’Apice, President of The Australian Heraldry Society, in consultation with the American heraldist, Fr. Guy Selvester, and rendered by Australian Heraldry Society member, Sandy Turnbull.

Bishop Kennedy – my Coat of Arms

The two black helmets from the Kennedy arms acknowledge my family, particularly the vocation of my parents and forefathers in passing on the gifts of life and of faith within the context of the family, the domestic Church.

The cross of Saint Michael acknowledges my baptismal saint and patron. In my baptism I became a child of God in grace, and a member of God’s priestly people. Saint Michael’s cross also acknowledges my home diocese of Wagga Wagga, Saint Michael being the patron of the diocesan Cathedral.

The blue chief with a gold fret (suggesting a fisherman’s net) acknowledges my vocation to the ministerial priesthood of Jesus Christ by which I became a ‘fisher of men’. The blue colour also acknowledges the Blessed Virgin Mary as my refuge, advocate, mediatrix, and mother.

The motto ‘Euntes Docete’ (Go out and teach) was the commission given by Jesus Christ to the Apostles before he ascended into heaven. This motto sums up the vocation of the bishop as a successor of the Apostles, and also reflects my past experience as a teacher.


Contact Bishop Kennedy

PO Box 93, Armidale NSW 2350


Phone: 02 6771 8700