Beloved Bishop Ray Benjamin dies aged 91

Bishop Raymond BenjaminFr. Michael Lowcock, Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Townsville, regretfully wishes to inform the community of the death of Emeritus Bishop of Townsville, Reverend Raymond Benjamin.

Bishop Benjamin turned 91 on the 24th of February this year. He was born in Rockhampton in 1925 and was educated atOur Lady’s Infant School and later at the Christian Brothers College, West Rockhampton. After completing his training at the Pius XII Provincial Seminary in Brisbane, he was ordained by the Most Rev. Andrew Tynan, Bishop of Rockhampton on the 25th of July, 1949.

As a Priest, he served in many parishes in the Diocese between 1950 and 1984 when he was elected as Fourth Bishop of Townsville on the 14th of February 1984. 

Bishop Benjamin was consecrated as Bishop of Townsville on the 9th of May at an outdoor Ordination at the Dean Park Soundshell by Most Rev. Francis Rush, Archbishop of Brisbane. 

Diocesan Administrator Fr Mick Lowcock said “Bishop Ray came as a real pastor of this Diocese, he was open to new directions for the Diocese and was willing to support the parishes in many new directions.”  “In some ways he was a leader before his times,” Fr Mick said.

Bishop Benjamin submitted his resignation to the Holy Father on the 1st of February 2000 and it was accepted on the 18th of April. He was then directly appointed as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese until the 24th of January 2001 when Bishop Michael Putney was appointed as 5th Bishop of Townsville.

“Many saw him as a wise and loving Bishop. He was a good preacher, a great story teller and loved Townsville after coming from Rockhampton Diocese where he served in many country parishes – Mount Morgan, Tambo, Yeppoon,” Fr Mick said.

Bishop Benjamin’s family were well known in Rockhampton and his only surviving sibling, Bernie, married to Jill, is still in Rockhampton. He was fond of his family and travelled overseas for their weddings and others occasions.

Since his retirement to Brisbane as Emeritus Bishop of Townsville, he has kept a keen interest in the Diocese even though his health has declined. He has been in Marycrest Hostel for the last few years and kept alive his love of music there. He was deeply involved in life there and was a welcome addition to their choir. His Welsh heritage was dear to him and in later year he revived his love of playing the cello.

The funeral will be held at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Townsville on Thursday 17th March commencing at 11am. A Vigil service will be held on the Wednesday evening commencing at 7pm.
Back to List


More News


17.01.2019

Executive Director, Centacare NQ

Executive Director, Centacare NQ   Under the leadership of the Bishop of Townsville, Most Reverend Timothy Harris DD, Centacare NQ is a social service ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Townsville. Since its formation in 1979, Centacare NQ has grown to ...

Read Full Article
20.12.2018

Youth Worker Position Available

Diocesan Youth Ministry Support Worker The Catholic Diocese of Townsville is seeking to appoint a part-time (22 hours per week) Catholic Youth Ministry Support Worker. We are seeking an energetic, enthusiastic and passionate Catholic individual committed to m...

Read Full Article
17.12.2018

Report outlines Church’s progress since Royal Commission ended

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia have submitted a joint report to the National Office for Child Safety (NOCS) on the Catholic Church’s implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Instituti...

Read Full Article
22.10.2018

Catholic Church stands with Prime Minister, renews apology

Catholic Church stands with Prime Minister, renews apology The leaders of Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) have welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s apology to survivors of institutional child s...

Read Full Article
31.08.2018

Catholic Church Response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Statement from Most Rev. Tim Harris Catholic Bishop of Townsville Regarding the response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Today Archbishop Mark Coleridge on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops&rsquo...

Read Full Article
21.08.2018

Australian Bishops welcome message from Pope Francis

Statement from ACBC President Archbishop Mark Coleridge The Catholic Bishops of Australia welcome the Letter to the People of God that Pope Francis has written regarding sexual abuse in the Church. We share the Holy Father’s determination to protect youn...

Read Full Article
29.03.2018

BREAKTHROUGH Youth Camp

Bored in the Holidays and want to have an awesome experience? Come to Ryan for the Breakthrough Youth Camp for fun, games, recreation, inspiring inputs, live music. Hang with others your own age and see how faith helps us live an epic life. Location is R...

Read Full Article
19.03.2018

Pope Francis back decision to hold Plenary Council in Australia

Pope Francis approves Australian Plenary Council  Pope Francis has given his approval for the Catholic Church to hold the first Plenary Council – the most significant national gathering that can be held – in Australia in more than 80 years. &...

Read Full Article
More Links in this section