Melbourne native Monsignor Greg Bennet has been appointed the Bishop of Sale, located in the Australian state of Victoria.

Bennet’s appointment as the 10th Bishop of Sale comes after his predecessor, Archbishop Patrick O’Regan, was installed as Archbishop of Adelaide last month.

“It is an enormous responsibility and privilege to be asked to undertake this appointment. It is a responsibility which cannot be exercised in isolation, but in close cooperation with the clergy, the faithful and those in diocesan leadership,” Bennet said on June 27.

“I know that I come to Sale as a stranger, but I pray that we shall grow together as brothers and sisters in the Lord,” the bishop-elect continued.

“I pray the Patroness of the diocese, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, will guide us as we build on the rich legacy of the Catholic faith in Sale and as we work together for the Reign of God,” Bennet said.

The bishop-elect acknowledged the bushfires in the Sale area last year, and the devastating effect it had on the community.

“The warmth of welcome has already been extended and such kindness is a reflection of the living Word of God. I know of the majestic beauty of the diocese and am mindful of the tragedy of the fires of last summer and the enduring suffering of many,” Bennet said.

“The diocese has clearly responded with great care, compassion and charity to those who have lived through such a traumatic experience and now begin to reorient their lives: These efforts will have my full support,” he added.

After the announcement, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President Archbishop Mark Coleridge said he welcomed the appointment, adding Bennet has “qualities and range of experience in Melbourne and elsewhere [that] will stand him in good stead for what awaits him in Gippsland,” the rural area of Victoria where Sale is located.

“Monsignor Bennet will be a blessing not only to his new diocese but also to the Bishops Conference at a time when the Church in Australia is looking to the Plenary Council and beyond,” Coleridge said.

Bennet was born and raised in Melbourne. After working in banking for several years, he entered Corpus Christi College in 1986 and was ordained priest in 1992.

Following a number of parish appointments, Bennet went to graduate school, gaining a master of science in pastoral counselling from Loyola College in Baltimore and a licentiate in sacred theology from the Angelicum University in Rome.

Bennet has held several leadership positions within the Archdiocese of Melbourne, including as director of Ministry to Priests and later as inaugural director of the Office for Evangelization. He served as vicar general from 2012 to 2019.

Archbishop Peter A Comensoli of Melbourne offered his prayers for the bishop-elect as he prepared to leave the archdiocese.

“Monsignor Greg has given a generous and deep commitment to the people of God in Melbourne over these 28 years,” Comensoli said.

“I am delighted at his appointment, but there is sadness to lose such a wonderful servant of God from our own Archdiocese. The people of Sale are blessed to have him as their new shepherd, and I know they will welcome him warmly. He has also been a personal friend over many years and I wish to acknowledge his wonderful support to me in my own ministry,” the archbishop said.

No date has been announced for Bennet’s installation.