Archbishop Christopher Prowse’s Biography


Christopher Prowse was born the third of six children of Frank Prowse and Marian Atkinson (both deceased) on 14 November, 1953 in Melbourne, Australia.


  • He attended St Francis Xavier Primary School and St Leo’s College in Box Hill.
  • Christopher was an altar server at St Francis Xavier Parish. While at St Leo’s College he enjoyed drama and public speaking and was the School Captain in 1971.


  • He attended Corpus Christi College, Werribee in 1972 and Clayton between 1973 and 1980.
  • On 16 August, 1980, Christopher Prowse was ordained into the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Melbourne in St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Why Priesthood

The Archbishop has written a reflective piece here on why he became a priest.


He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, from Monash University in 1978 and a Bachelor of Theology from Melbourne College of Divinity (MCD) in 1979. He obtained a Licentiate in Moral Theology (Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, 1987) and has a Doctorate in Moral Theology (Pontifical Lateran University – Alfonsianum Academy, Rome 1995).

FROM 1979 to 2000

After serving as a Deacon at St John’s, Mitcham in 1979, Christopher Prowse was appointed Assistant Priest of St Mary of the Angels, Geelong (from 1981-83) and of St Monica’s, Moonee Ponds (1984-85). He was also Vocations’ Director throughout 1984-85.

Christopher Prowse was a Lecturer in Moral Theology at the Catholic Theological College and from 1988 he was a Priest in Residence at St Mary’s Thornbury. In 1996, he was appointed Parish Priest of Holy Spirit Parish in East Thornbury. Other appointments included Director of the Catholic Pastoral Formation Centre from 1997-2001, and from 1999 he was their Media Spokesman.


  • In August 2001 Christopher was named Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Melbourne. He became a Member of the College of Consultors of the Archdiocese.
  • On 6 October 2001 he was appointed a Chaplain of His Holiness with the title of Monsignor.
  • On 4 April 2003, Blessed Pope John Paul II named him Titular Bishop of Bahanna and Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne.
  • Christopher was consecrated in St Patrick’s Cathedral on 19 May 2003, and then given pastoral responsibility for the Southern Region of Melbourne.
  • From 2007 to 2009 he had pastoral responsibility for the Western Region of Melbourne and Geelong. In 2007 he became the Episcopal Vicar for Justice and Social Services, and in 2008, for Health. He was appointed to key committees organising Days in the Diocese, Melbourne and World Youth Day, Sydney.
  • In 2007 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him a Member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and on 18 June 2009, the same Pontiff named him Bishop of Sale. On 12 September 2013, Pope Francis appointed him Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn Archdiocese.
  • On 27 February 2014, the Pope appointed him as a Consultor to the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews.
  • Archbishop Prowse’s installation Mass was celebrated in St Christopher’s Cathedral in Canberra, on November 19, 2013.
  • Within the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Prowse is a Member of the Permanent Committee and Chairman of the Commission for Ecumenism and Inter-Religious Relations.
  • Archbishop Prowse is also a Member of the Commission for Relations with Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.