Fr Shane Mackinlay to be next Bishop of Sandhurst

Fr Shane MackinlayBishop Paul shared the news that Pope Francis has appointed Fr Shane Mackinlay as the new Bishop of Sandhurst. The announcement was published in Rome overnight.

"On behalf of our diocese, I offer Fr Shane congratulations on this appointment. We will certainly feel the loss of Fr Shane’s services to our diocese of Ballarat, as Parish Priest of Bungaree, visiting priest for the Parish of Gordon, and chair of the Bishops Advisory Council, as well as his contribution as Master of Catholic Theological College," Bishop Paul said.

"However, I rejoice that Fr Shane will be able to apply his great gifts and energies to serving the diocesan community of Sandhurst as their Bishop," he said.

Fr Shane was ordained in Ballarat in 1991, after studying for the priesthood at Corpus Christi College, Clayton, completing theology studies at Catholic Theological College and a degree in physics at Monash University. He served in the parishes of Hamilton, Colac and Ballarat Cathedral before undertaking graduate studies in philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, where he completed a Master’s degree and a Doctorate. 

Fr Shane was administrator of the Casterton parish for six months and parish priest of the Sebastopol parish for four years. He has been parish priest of the Bungaree parish since 2005 and since 2009, he has also provided weekend sacramental ministry for the neighbouring parish of Gordon.

For several years, he taught philosophy at Australian Catholic University, Ballarat. Most of his teaching has taken place at Catholic Theological College, Melbourne, where he has been Master since 2011. The following year, he was appointed Associate Professor by the University of Divinity.

From 2012 to 2014 he was the spokesperson for the Catholic Church during the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Non-Government Organisations. He was secretary to the Bishop of Ballarat from 1998 to 2001, and has been the chairperson of the Bishop’s Advisory Council of the Ballarat diocese since it was established in 2009.

Fr Shane said while his role at Catholic Theological College was a demanding one and typically saw the Master relinquish parish ministry, he had been keen to continue that work alongside his teaching and administrative duties. “I love teaching and also being involved with people in their local parish communities and I very much look forward to continuing those two ministries in a different way in my new role,” he said.

“I’ve greatly enjoyed being a priest in the Ballarat diocese and I’m very pleased that I can continue my ministry among the people of regional Victoria,” Fr Shane said.

The Episcopal Ordination of Bishop-Elect Shane Mackinlay will be celebrated on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 12.00noon in Sacred Heart Cathedral, Bendigo.  The event will be live streamed at

Click here for the official notice of the appointment from the apostolic nuncio and Fr Shane's biography.