Who are we?

The Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn was originally the Diocese of Goulburn, established in 1862. With the creation of Canberra as Australia’s Capital City in 1911, we became the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn in 1948.

We are a large country Archdiocese of 88,000km². If you were to travel from Lake Cargelligo, in the north west of the Archdiocese, to Eden in the deep south of the Archdiocese on the Victorian border, then you would travel 660km and take 9 hours. It is a big and diverse country Archdiocese, with Australia’s largest inland city in the middle of it.

Our Archbishop is Christopher Prowse. He is the 11th Bishop, appointed in 2013. He is a successor of the Apostles, called by the Lord to be one of ‘the twelve.’

Our Archdiocese has 50 parishes, with 41 active diocesan and religious priests:

The parish gathers people so that they can encounter Jesus Christ in word and sacrament – especially the Sunday Eucharist. The parish practises the love of Christ, crucified and risen (cf. CCC 2179). The parish makes present the communitarian nature of the Church, exercising an essential subsidiary role.

Pope Francis teaches that ‘the parish is not an outdated institution. Precisely because it possesses great flexibility, it can assume quite different contours depending on the openness and missionary creativity of the pastor and the community.’

There are approximately 163,000 Catholics in the Archdiocese – baptised into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Called to be Christ in the 21st

We have 21,000 students in 56 Catholic Schools.

We have three chaplains in gaols in Cooma, Canberra and Goulburn, ministering to the needs of inmates

Three hospitals and nine Aged Care Homes operate in the Archdiocese, not under the direct authority of the Archbishop, but functioning as Public Juridic Persons. The hospitals have part-time chaplains and full-time pastoral care teams.

Chaplains minister in all the public hospitals in the Archdiocese, there being a full-time chaplaincy team at The Canberra Hospital.

Social services abound in the Archdiocese:

Marymead CatholicCare

Offers professional support services for those in need, including:

  • counselling, family support
  • homelessness, including operating a women’s refuge in the ACT
  • NDIS services
  • mental health support
  • aged care
  • youth outreach, including working with children, young people (aged 25 and below) and their families,
  • drug and alcohol, housing support
  • helping with complex familial issues
  • providing specialist, early intervention, clinical therapeutic services and support programs and services.

The Farm, Galong, NSW, was established in 2017 to support women who have completed rehabilitation from alcohol and drug misuse. It is not-for-profit organisation, with the Archdiocese being a significant sponsor.

Vincent de Paul Society: A lay Catholic organisation, aspiring to live the Gospel of Christ by serving the poor, offering ‘a hand up’ to people in need. The Society advocates on pressing social needs.