Auxiliary Bishop Arthur Roche to move to Leeds
posted on 16 July 2002
It was announced today that the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, has appointed Bishop Arthur Roche, presently an Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, as Coadjutor Bishop of Leeds with right of succession to the present Ordinary, Bishop David Konstant.
On hearing the news of his appointment, Bishop Roche said:
'I genuinely feel very honoured to have been appointed by the Holy Father as Coadjutor Bishop of Leeds. Having been chosen as an auxiliary bishop for Westminster only a year ago, I had not expected it. However, I am delighted, following a long consultation, to have been appointed by the Pope to the diocese, which nurtured me as a layman and a priest. In particular, it is a great privilege specifically to be asked to assist and eventually succeed Bishop David Konstant in his already distinguished service of the Diocese of Leeds.
'At the same time, I have grown very fond of the Diocese of Westminster, the Cardinal, my fellow bishops and priests, religious and all the people whom I have had the privilege to serve for this short time. They will be forever part of my heart and I owe them much for having received me so generously and helped me to learn something of what it is to be a bishop today.
Bishop Roche - ' a caring pastor, also a very able administrator'
'It is eleven years since I left the Diocese of Leeds to work for the Church elsewhere. It is with a sense of expectation and hope that I return to serve and join my fellow priests, the religious and the people of Yorkshire where I was born.'
Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor spoke as follows about Bishop Roche's appointment:
'I warmly congratulate the Diocese of Leeds on the appointment of Bishop Arthur Roche as Coadjutor Bishop.
'During his relatively short time as my Auxiliary Bishop in the Diocese of Westminster Bishop Arthur has proved himself not only a caring pastor, but also a very able administrator and a good friend.
'I very much regret losing him as my Auxiliary Bishop; but rejoice that Leeds has gained an excellent candidate who eventually will succeed Bishop David Konstant as Ordinary of the Diocese.'
It is expected that Bishop Roche will move to Leeds at some point in September 2002.
Please find below Bishop Roche's brief biography:
Bishop Roche was born in Batley Carr, Yorkshire on 6 March 1950. He is youngest of a family of three having a brother and sister. His parents Arthur Francis Roche and Frances Roche (nee Day) and brother, Brian, are deceased. His sister, Margaret Teale, lives in Dewsbury. He attended school at St Joseph's Batley Carr before moving to Christleton Hall, Chester. In 1969, he went to The English College at Valladolid to study for the priesthood and gained a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (STB) from the University of Camillas. He was ordained priest on 19 July 1975, at St Joseph's Batley Carr.
He served as curate at Holy Rood Barnsley from August 1975 until January 1978. In that January, he became secretary to Bishop Gordon Wheeler, the former Bishop of Leeds, and Chaplain to St. John Bosco School in North Leeds. He was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the Diocese in June 1979, and Diocesan Coordinator of the National Pastoral Congress in 1980. In February 1982, he was appointed as the Co-ordinator of the Papal Visit, then in July of that year after the Papal visit he returned to Bishop's House. From September 1982 to January 1986 he was appointed as an assistant priest at the Cathedral in Leeds, becoming the Financial Secretary in August 1986, in fact he was the last Priest Financial Secretary for the Diocese the job is now done by a lay person. In January 1989 he became Parish Priest of St Wilfrid's in Leeds and remained there until July 1991. In September 1991, he went to Rome for further studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he gained a Licence in Sacred Theology (STL). In September 1992, he became Spiritual Director of The Venerable English College in Rome. In August 1996, he was appointed Prelate of Honour on his appointment as General Secretary to The Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales during which time he served three Presidents of the Conference - Cardinal Basil Hume, Archbishop Michael Bowen and Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor. He was ordained bishop by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor on 10 May 2001 at Westminster Cathedral. Since then, he has been an Auxiliary Bishop in the Diocese of Westminster having been appointed chairman of the Pastoral Affairs Department of the diocese, of the Finance Committee and of the Catholic Children's Society (Westminster).
The new bishop will present his Apostolic mandate to the Bishop and Consultors of the Diocese of Leeds at a special Mass in the Cathedral Church of St Anne's, Leeds on Monday 16 September.
His interests include gardening, reading, music, films, walking, and sailing.