It is with great joy that the Archdiocese of Melbourne shares the news of Pope Francis’ appointment of the Very Rev Joseph (Joe) John Caddy AM, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, as the new Bishop of Cairns in Far North Queensland.

In accepting his appointment, Fr Joe expressed his gratitude to the Holy Father:

‘I am deeply humbled by this appointment and wish to express my deepest thanks to all the Clergy and faithful of Melbourne, with whom I have shared all of my priestly ministry. It has been an absolute privilege for me to minister with you.

‘I also offer my personal thanks for the support and encouragement of Archbishop Peter Comensoli over these past five years as his Vicar General and Episcopal Vicar for Social Services.’

Born and raised in Melbourne, Fr Joe was ordained to the priesthood for the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne in 1990.

He completed a Bachelor of Theology from Melbourne College of Divinity and holds degrees in Social Sciences from the Gregorian University Rome, where he focused his studies on Catholic social teaching and social ethics and economics.

From 2004 to 2017, he served as Chief Executive Officer of CatholicCare (Greater Melbourne, Geelong and Gippsland), and oversaw the successful integration of diocesan pastoral services including healthcare chaplaincy, prison ministry and youth justice into the operations of CatholicCare.

In June 2018, Fr Joe was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list and awarded an Order of Australia Medal (AM) in the General Division for ‘significant service to the community through a range of social welfare initiatives and policy reforms, and to the Catholic Church in Australia’.

He has served in several Melbourne parishes, including as Parish Priest to Fitzroy and St Kilda East, and is currently at St Carthage’s Parkville.

In acknowledging what a great change this will be, Fr Joe expressed his excitement in heading ‘north’.

‘I know that I will have a lot to learn as I visit the parishes and communities of the Cairns Diocese.

‘I am very much looking forward to meeting with, listening closely, and learning as together we will seek to uncover the presence of the liberating Christ in the lives of the people and communities of Far North Queensland.’

Archbishop Comensoli noted with joy the episcopal responsibility Bishop-elect Joe Caddy has been called to.

‘This is a wonderful recognition of the dedicated pastoral ministry Fr Joe has brought to so many.’

‘Although there is a sense of sadness in his leaving Melbourne, I wish to assure his new flock that they are receiving a great gift, and a man of deep prayer and service. My prayers are with Fr Joe and God’s good people of Cairns.’

Details about the Bishop-elect’s Ordination and installation in the Diocese of Cairns will be announced in coming days.