WAGGA priest Father Michael Kennedy is set to pack his bags to accept a promotion after he was appointed Bishop of Armidale yesterday.
Fr Michael was born at Calvary Hospital in Wagga and lived in the village of San Isidore growing up.
The youngest of nine children in his family, the priest completed all his schooling at Wagga Catholic schools.
He was ordained for the Diocese of Wagga in the late 1990s and is currently the Vicar Forane (Dean) of the Murrumbidgee Deanery.
He is also the parish priest of Leeton.
Fr Michael expressed both surprise and joy when receiving the appointment and hopes to be a "true shepherd" to the people of Armidale.
"I am both honoured and humbled to have been chosen to be a successor of the Apostles as the Bishop of Armidale," he said.
"It is my hope to be a true shepherd and teacher for the people of Armidale so that, together, we may grow in faith and build up the Body of Christ."
Fr Michael's longtime mentor, Bishop Gerard Hanna, was supportive of the news that one of his senior priests had been promoted and wished him every success in his new ministry.
"We congratulate him on his appointment," Bishop Hanna said.
"He has, over the last 13 years, showed a very balanced approach to his pastoral ministry in the diocese and I believe that he is well suited in his new role of leadership."
Fr Michael began his priestly formation at Vianney College in Wagga and completed his studies in Rome at Propaganda Fide, obtaining a Licentiate in Sacred Theology.
In addition to his work as a parish priest in the diocese, he has worked as a lecturer at Vianney College, covering moral theology as a major course.