Francis P. Carroll

Brendan Walsh Catholic ministry - church gathered - Francis P. CarrollArchbishop of Canberra and Goulburn (1986-2006)
Archbishop Carroll was elected President of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference in 2000. He retired from his role as Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn in 2006 and was replaced by Archbishop Mark Coleridge.


I first met Brendan Walsh when he lead a week of prayer and teaching in the Kambah Parish of this Archdiocese.

I attended a number of his presentations and was favourably impressed.  In fact, I was so impressed that I invited him to come back to lead one of the Archdiocesan retreats for priests.

This took place at the Redemptorist Monastery Retreat Center at Galong, N.S.W. About twenty priests participated, including three Bishops, myself, my Auxillary and Bishop Morgan, who retired some years ago as Bishop of the Defense Forces and Auxillary of this Archdiocese.

All of us I believe, without exception, were delighted with the manner and content of Brendan’s retreat presentation.  A number of the older priests made comments such as “the best(or close to the best ) I’ve experienced in my fifty years or so of priesthood”.

Brendan’s personal prayerfulness and spirit – filled spirituality, together with his obviously deep and genuine reverence for the ordained priesthood, made a deep impression on the priests, who felt strongly affirmed in their own identity and appreciated for their faithful ministry.

Brendan also showed a loving familiarity with the Scriptures, as well as a clear understanding of and loyalty to Catholic teaching and devotional life.  Added to this was his personal witness, his sense of vocation to preach the Gospel and his sense of humour.  I have no hesitation in warmly recommending Brendan as the leader/director of clergy retreats.

As well as conducting this retreat, Brendan spent three weeks in the Archdiocese and gave several days of “Mission” in four regions of the Archdiocese.

Brendan also led a successful day with Catholic School Principals and Religious Education Co-Ordinators.  On Each occasion, there were clear signs of people responding to the call for repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation.  One could also discern a spirit of renewed hope and joy.

Catholics were affirmed in their belief and sacramental practice, while other Christians felt at home and there were positive signs of reconciliation and growth in unity among people of different denominations.

I am grateful to God for the blessings many priests and people have experienced through the preaching and ministry of Brendan and I pray a continued blessing on the special call he has received.

+Francis P. Carroll

Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn