Mark O’Toole

Mark O’Toole was born in London on 22nd June 1963.   The youngest son of Marcus and Maura O’Toole who originally hail from the Irish-speaking community of Connemara, Galway, Ireland. He attended St Ignatius Primary School, Stamford Hill and St Thomas More Secondary School in Wood Green, leaving school in 1981 with four ‘A’ level qualifications. Three years later he graduated the University of Leicester with a BSc in Geography.

Following university, he entered into priestly formation at Allen Hall Seminary, London. He graduated with a BD in Sacred Theology from the University of London (Heythrop College) in 1989.

From 1989-1990 the then Deacon Mark O’Toole spent his time working at St Joan of Arc Parish, Highbury. He was then ordained to the Sacred Priesthood on 9th June 1990 by Cardinal Basil Hume.

1990-1992 Fr. Mark O’Toole entered further studies completing an M.Phil in Theology at the University of Oxford. His thesis studied the relationship between Divine and Human freedom supervised by the then Lady Margaret Professor, Dr Rowan Williams.

Following his graduation, Fr. Mark worked as an assistant priest in St Mary Magdalene parish, Willesden Green; whilst also working as a part-time lecturer in Catechesis. He joined the staff at Allen Hall Seminary full time from 1997-2022 as a lecturer in Theology and as a Formation Adviser to the seminarians.  He also served as Dean of Studies from 199-2002.  During this period he obtained a Sacred License in Theology from the Pontifical University, Leuven in 2000.

In 2002, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor named Fr. Mark O’Toole as his Private Secretary.  he continued in the role until 2008 where he as appointed Rector of Allen Hall Seminary.

On 28th January 2014 he was ordained ninth Bishop of Plymouth.  During his time in Plymouth he was appointed an Honorary Canon at both Truro and External cathedrals.

On 27th April 2002, Pope Francis named Bishop Mark O’Toole as the 8th Archbishop of Cardiff in succession to Archbishop George Stack. The appointment also named him Bishop of Menevia uniting both Dioceses ‘in persona episcope’.

Archbishop Mark was installed as Archbishop of Cardiff on 20th June 2022 at St David’s Cathedral, Cardiff in the first Installation of an Archbishop of Cardiff to be broadcast on the Internet.

George Stack

George Stack was born in Cork, Ireland on 9 May 1946. He attended school in Highgate, London, before entering seminaryat St. Edmund’s College, Ware in 1966. He was ordained deacon in 1971 and completed his seminary training 1972, being ordained priest on 21 May 1972 by Bishop Victor Guazzelli, an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Westminster.

Following ordination, Father Stack was appointed curate St Joseph’s, parish, Hanwell. Between 1974 and 1977, Father Stack pursued a Bachelor of Education degree at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham. He then became curate at St Paul’s, Wood Green, and in 1983 was appointed Parish Priest of Our Lady, Help of Christians in Kentish Town.

In 1990, he was appointed Vicar General for Clergy, a post based at Archbishop’s House in Victoria, London. He became Administrator of Westminster Cathedral in 1993, and was granted the title Monsignor.

In 2001, Monsignor Stack was consecrated an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Westminster, by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. In 2006, he was identified as holding responsibility for the pastoral care of deaneries in Hertfordshire and for Westminster’s Diocesan Department for Education and Formation.

On 19 April 2011, Bishop Stack was named as the 7th Archbishop of Cardiff. He was installed as Archbishop on 20 June 2011, and received the pallium in Rome from Pope Benedict XVI on 29 June 2011.

Archbishop George submitted his resignation as Archbishop of Cardiff having reached the canonical age (75) in May 2021.  Pope Francis accepted the resignation ‘Nunc pro tunc’ (Now for then) pending succession by the 8th Archbishop of Cardiff.

On Wednesday 27th April 2022 Pope Francis named Bishop Mark O’Toole of Plymouth as the next Archbishop of Cardiff AND Bishop of Menevia ‘in persona Episcopi’.  Archbishop-elect Mark will take possession of the diocese on Monday 20th June 2022.

Peter Smith

Smith was born on 21 October 1943 in Battersea, London, England. He was educated at Clapham College, then an all-boys Catholic voluntary-aided grammar school. He studied at Exeter University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in law. He then undertook studies for the priesthood at St. John’s Seminary in Wonersh and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome (earning his doctorate in canon law).

Smith was ordained to the priesthood on 5 July 1972. After doing pastoral work from 1972 to 1974, Smith began teachingcanon law at his alma mater, St John’s Seminary, Wonersh, in 1977. He then served as a curate in Thornton Heath (1984–1985) and as the rector of St John’s Seminary (1985–1995).

On 21 March 1995, Smith was appointed Bishop of East Anglia by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 21 May from Cardinal Basil Hume OSB, with Archbishop Michael George Bowen and BishopAlan Charles Clark serving as co-consecrators. Smith was later named Archbishop of Cardiff on 26 October 2001, following the resignation of the Capuchin, John Ward.

Smith has chaired the Catholic Truth Society since 1993 and the Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship within the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales since 1998. He was also chairman of the Central Religious Advisory Committee (CRAC) of the BBC and ITC from 2001 to 2004. In 2002 he was made a sub-prelate and chaplain of theVenerable Order of Saint John. In 2004 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the University of Wales, Lampeter and also of Cardiff University in 2006.

On 30 April 2010, Smith was named as the Archbishop of Southwark, replacing Archbishop Kevin McDonald who resigned the see due to ill health. He was installed on 10 June 2010.

On 10 June 2019, Smith’s resignation from the pastoral care of the Archdiocese of Southwark was accepted by Pope Francis.  He entered into retirement on 25 July 2019 being succeeded by Archbishop John Wilson.

Smith died on 6 March 2020 aged 76 in Chelsea. His Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. George’s Cathedral, Southwark on 30 March 2020 under heavy restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  He was laid to rest in the crypt at St. George’s Cathedral, Southwark.

John Aloysius Ward OFMCap

John Aloysius Ward was born in Leeds on 24 January 1929, the son of Eugene and Hannah Ward. The Ward family later moved to Wrexham, North Wales, where the young John Ward was brought up. He was educated at St. Mary’s Primary School, Wrexham, and at Prior Park College, Bath. He subsequently joined the novitiate of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin whom he had known from their house at Pantasaph, North Wales.

Once he had completed his novitiate, and his priestly studies, he was ordained to the sacred priesthood at the Franciscan Parish in Peckham in 1953. He returned to reside at Pantasaph. Fr. Ward was then appointed to be in charge of the Diocese of Menevia’s travelling mission. He was appointed Parish Priest of Peckham and also Guardian of the Franciscan Friary there. In 1969 Fr. Ward was appointed Minister Provincial for the Capuchins of Great Britain. In 1970 he was appointed as an adviser to the Father General of the Capuchin Order in Rome. In this responsibility he looked after the spiritual needs of English-speaking Capuchins throughout the world. In this position he thus travelled widely, going on many visitations and missions, to places such as Africa and South East Asia.

Pope John Paul II named him as Coadjutor Bishop of Menevia on 1 October 1980. He succeeded Bishop Langton D. Fox in February 1982. A short time later, on 25 March 1983, he was named Archbishop of Cardiff.

Especially in his early years as Archbishop, he sought very successfully priestly vocations, and a good number were ordained by him during his tenure. Archbishop Ward was very prominent during the miners’ strike, he went to London to meet with the Secretary of State for Energy.  He also made a prominent response to the famine in Ethiopia which led to an appeal which raised a substantial sum of over £100,000, this appeal culminated in a large attendance Mass in Cardiff Arms Park on 6 June 1985.

Archbishop Ward also called together a Diocesan Pastoral Congress, laying down the foundations for the renewal of structures within the Archdiocese of Cardiff. He was a very strong and active supporter of ecumenism, and became the first Catholic Bishop to address the General Synod of the Church in England. He attended the 1994 Synod of Bishops in Rome on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

Archbishop Ward retired on 26 October 2001. Ward retired to a bungalow, where he displayed his archiepiscopal coat of arms over his front door. He remained active during his retirement, celebrating the Golden Jubilee of his priestly ordination at St. Mary’s, Bridgend, on 7 June 2003.

He died on Tuesday 27 March 2007. His Funeral Mass, celebrated by Archbishop Peter Smith, took place on Monday 2 April 2007, at St. David’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Cardiff.

John A. Murphy

John Aloysius Murphy (21 December 1905 – 18 November 1995) was a Roman Catholic Church prelate who served firstly as the Bishop of Shrewsbury from 1949 to 1961, then as the Archbishop of Cardiff from 1961 to 1983.

He was born in Birkenhead on the Wirral Peninsula on 21 December 1905, and ordained a priest for the Diocese of Shrewsbury on 21 March 1931. He was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Shrewsbury and Titular Bishop of Appia on 7 February 1948. His consecration to the Episcopate took place on 25 February 1948, the principal consecrator was CardinalWilliam Godfrey, Archbishop of Westminster, and the principal co-consecrators were Bishop John Edward Petit of Menevia and Bishop Henry Vincent Marshall of Salford. On the death of Bishop Ambrose James Moriarty on 3 June 1949, Murphy automatically succeeded as Bishop of Shrewsbury. Twelve years later, he was appointed Archbishop of Cardiff.

Murphy adjusted to the ecumenical climate of Vatican II, for example by accompanying the Abbot of Caldey on a visit to the Llandaff residence of Bishop Glyn Simon, who subsequently as Archbishop of Wales spoke at the Installation (1969) of the Catholic Lord Mayor, Sir Lincoln Hallinan,

He retired on 25 March 1983 and assumed the title Archbishop Emeritus of Cardiff. He died on 18 November 1995, aged 89.

Michael McGrath

Michael Joseph McGrath (24 March 1882 – 28 February 1961) was an Irish-born prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served first as the Bishop of Menevia from 1935 to 1940, then the Archbishop of Cardiff from 1940 to 1961.

Born in Kilkenny, Ireland on 24 March 1882, educated locally by the Christian Brothers and at Rockwell College (earning a BA from the Royal University of Ireland). After training for the prieshood in St. John’s College, Waterford, he was ordained to the priesthood on 12 July 1908. He was appointed the Bishop of the Diocese of Menevia on 10 August 1935. His consecration to the Episcopate took place on 24 September 1935, the principal consecrator was Archbishop Francis Mostyn of Cardiff, and the principal co-consecrators were Bishop William Lee of Clifton and Bishop Ambrose James Moriarty of Shrewsbury. Five years later, McGrath was translated to the Archdiocese of Cardiff as archbishop on 20 June 1940.[1] He was awarded an honorary D.Litt by the National University of Ireland. He died in office on 28 February 1961, aged 78.

Francis Edward Joseph Mostyn

Francis Edward Joseph Mostyn was born in Talacre, Flintshire, Wales, the fourth son of Sir Pyers Mostyn, 8th Baronet (1811–1882; see Mostyn Baronets) and Frances Georgina (née Graser; died 1899), and was ordained to the priesthood on 14 September 1884. On 4 July 1895, he was appointed the first Vicar Apostolic of Wales and Titular Bishop of Ascalon by Pope Leo XIII.[1]

He received his episcopal consecration on the following 14 September 1895 (the ninth anniversary of his priestly ordination) from Cardinal Herbert Vaughan, with Bishops John Carroll and John Hedley, OSB, serving as co-consecrators. He was later named Bishop of Menevia upon his vicariate’s elevation to a diocese on 14 May 1898. On 7 March 1921, Mostyn was appointed Archbishop of Cardiff by Pope Benedict XV, leading the only Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Wales. He died in 1939, aged 79, having served as Archbishop for eighteen years.

James R. Bilsborrow OSB

James Romanus Bilsborrow, O.S.B. (27 August 1862 – 19 June 1931) was an English Roman Catholic prelate and Benedictine priest.

He served as the first Archbishop of Cardiff (1916–1920), having previously been Bishop of Port-Louis (1916–1920).

Born in Preston, Lancashire on 27 August 1862, he was ordained a priest in the Order of Saint Benedict on 23 June 1889.

He was appointed the Bishop of the Diocese of Port-Louis in Mauritius on 13 September 1910. His consecration to the Episcopate took place on 24 February 1911, the principal consecrator was John Cuthbert Hedley, Bishop of Newport, and the principal co-consecrators were Peter Augustine O’Neill, Bishop Emeritus of Port-Louis and Joseph Robert Cowgill, Bishop of Leeds.  Six years later, Bilsborrow was appointed the first Archbishop of Cardiff on 7 February 1916.

He resigned the post on 16 December 1920 and appointed Titular Archbishop of Cius. He died on 19 June 1931, aged 68