Most Rev William Joseph Wright BTh, BA(Hons), DD Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle
Bishop Bill Wright was born in 1952 in Washington DC, the third child of Australian parents, Jack and Nan Wright. He spent his infancy in Ashfield, childhood in Gordon, and his adolescence in Pymble (all Sydney suburbs), except for two years in London when he was aged ten to twelve.
He attended Sacred Heart Primary School, Pymble, and St Aloysius’ College, Milsons Point, and in London, Wimbledon College. After school, he began studies for the priesthood at St Columba’s College, Springwood and then at St Patrick’s College, Manly. He later completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) at Sydney University, double-majoring in History.
Bishop Wright was ordained Deacon at Manly College on 25 October 1976 and Priest on 20 August 1977 in St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, for the Archdiocese of Sydney. He served as assistant priest in the parish of Stanmore (1977-84), Vice-Rector of St Patrick’s Manly (1984-91), assistant priest at Mt Druitt parish (on loan to Parramatta diocese, 1992-94), Assistant Secretary to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (Braddon, ACT-1995), briefly as assistant priest at Fairfield and Administrator at Enmore-Tempe parish (1996) and then as parish priest at Dulwich Hill (1997-99) and Bonnyrigg (2000-2005). He had two years on exchange in the parish of Moree (Diocese of Armidale, 2006-2007) and was then parish priest of Sutherland (2008-2009) and Liverpool (2010-2011).
Bishop Wright was nominated as Bishop of Maitland on 4 April 2011 and ordained and installed in Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hamilton, on 15 June 2011. He is a member of the Australian Bishops’ Commissions for Church Ministry and for Ecumenical and Inter-faith Relations, co-chair of the National Committee for Professional Standards, a member of the Truth Justice and Healing Council and the NSW Bishops’ delegate on the NSW Professional Standards Liaison Panel.
Previous bishops include:
- Charles Henry Davis OSB (1848 - 1854)
- James Murray (1865 - 1909)
- Patrick Vincent Dwyer (1909 - 1931)
- Edmund Gleeson CSsR (1931 - 1956)
- John Toohey (1956 - 1975)
- Leo Morris Clarke (1976 - 1995)
- Michael Malone (1995 - 2011)