Emeritus Bishop Luc Juliannus Matthys was appointed to the Diocese of Armidale in 1999. He was born in Belgium in 1935 and became a priest in South Africa in 1961. He moved to the Archdiocese of Melbourne, served in several parishes. Bishop Matthys retired in 2011 and died on 26th January, 2021 in Tamworth. He is buried in the Cathedral grounds.
Bishop Kevin Michael Manning was born in Coolah in 1933. Bishop Manning was appointed Bishop in 1991, making history by being the first to receive episcopal ordination and be installed in the one ceremony at the Cathedral on a snowy winters day. He was appointed Bishop of Parramatta in 1997 and retired in 2010.
Bishop Henry Joseph Kennedy was born in Balmain in 1915. He was appointed as an auxiliary bishop in Brisbane and consecrated in 1967. Bishop Kennedy was then appointed to Armidale and enthroned in 1972 by Archbishop Freeman. Bishop Kennedy retired in 1991 aged 76 and died in 2003.
Bishop James Darcy Freeman, born in Sydney in 1907, succeeded Bishop Doody in 1968. He was Bishop for only three years, and celebrated a spectacular diocesan centenary in 1969. He returned to Sydney in 1971 as Archbishop and was made a Cardinal in 1973. He participated in elections for Popes John Paul I and John Paul II in 1978, retired in 1983, and died in 1991 at aged 83.
Bishop Edward John Doody was our first Australian-born bishop. He was born in Brisbane in 1903 and consecrated as Bishop in 1948. Bishop Doody saw a great growth in Armidale during his time, including new parishes, churches, schools and missions. Bishop Doody implemented the reforms of Vatican II but he died suddenly in 1968 at aged 64.
Bishop John Aloysius Coleman, born in Ireland in 1887, succeeded Bishop O’Connor automatically after his death in 1932. He was consecrated in the new cathedral on his 42nd birthday in 1929. He saw the construction of the Cathedral Presbytery which opened in 1938. Bishop Coleman died in 1947, aged 60.
Bishop Patrick Joseph O’Connor automatically succeeded Bishop Torreggiani after his death in 1904. Bishop O’Connor assisted with the development of the schools, the Ursuline Convent and St Patrick’s Orphanage. He also oversaw the building of our Cathedral in 1912. At age 80 with ill health, he too asked for a coadjutor bishop.
The second bishop of the Diocese, Bishop Elzear Torreggiani, was born in Italy in 1830. He joined the Franciscan Capuchins. He was appointed to Armidale in 1879. Bishop Torreggiani nurtured the Diocese and guided its growth. By 1902 his health was failing and he asked for a coadjutor bishop.