The Most Reverend Columba Macbeth-Green OSPPE DD
Bishop of the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes
Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green was born in Forbes NSW, the son of Paul Green and Lorna nee Macbeth. Raised on a farm, he was educated at St Laurence’s Primary School and Red Bend Catholic College in Forbes. Upon leaving school, he taught music and joined the Australian Army Reserve as a Piper.
After spending two years with the Conventual Franciscans, he joined the Order of St. Paul the First Hermit (Pauline Fathers) in 1990, and studied for the Priesthood at Vianney College in Wagga Wagga. He made his Solemn Profession in the Order in 1996, and was ordained a priest the following year on 22nd November 1997.
The Pauline Fathers, founded in 1215 in Hungary, are semi-contemplative order who observe the Rule of St. Augustine. They are based in Poland and are custodians of the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa.
As a Pauline Father, Fr. Macbeth-Green served as Administrator of Tarcutta Parish from 1998 to 2002, as Sub-Prior of the Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy at Penrose Park from 2002 to 2004, and a Administrator of Moss Vale Parish from 2004 to 2006.
From 2000 to 2006, he served as a New South Wales Police Chaplain to the Wagga Wagga and Camden Local Area Commands. From 2006 to 2011, he served as Police Chaplain at Police Headquarters in Brisbane, and from 2011 to 2014, as full time Police Chaplain for the South Eastern Region of Queensland.
At the time of his appointment as Bishop, he was the Provincial Vicar of the Pauline Fathers for Australia and Rector of the Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Marian Valley, Canungra, Queensland, where he served from 2006 to 2014.
The Bishop’s appointment by Pope Francis was announced on 12 April 2014.
Episcopal Coat of Arms
In an illiterate world, Coats of Arms have traditionally been used to identify a person of rank and to mark his property. In the heraldic tradition of the Catholic Church, a Bishop of a Diocese impales his personal arms with those of his Diocese in a manner which displays his role as its Bishop. He authenticates his acts by affixing his seal which customarily incorporates the arms of the Bishop and his Diocese.
Bishop Columba explains his Coat of Arms:
“The red and white shield is divided in the form of a saltire cross which is the form of the flag of Scotland, an ancestral and cultural home for me and the location of St. Columba’s major ministry.
I grew up on a farm that had many windmill water pumps. These pumps were used to draw water from the dams and water bores. Water is life in country Australia.
The four blades from one of those windmill pumps in my Coat of Arms acknowledge my rural origins. They are in the form of a cross to signify Christ’s presence in rural areas where He draws living water from the springs of Salvation to quench thirsty souls.
The two fleurs-de-lis represent the Blessed Virgin Mary. I have always had a great personal devotion to Our Lady and have entrusted my vocation to her. The Pauline Order also has great devotion to Our Lady.
The raven with the bread in its mouth is from the Coat of Arms of the Order if St Paul the First Hermit of which I am a proud member. Tradition has it that St Paul, like the prophet Elijah, was fed in his cave each day by a raven with a piece of bread. This represents God’s providence in my life and the important role of the Pauline Order in my religious formation.
The colours represent my family. The red and gold are colours from Macbeth arms and the clan badge. The green on the fleurs-de-lis represents the Green family.
External to the shield of my arms, the Bishop’s cross is shown as a Celtic cross (sometimes called St Columba’s cross) to represent my Celtic roots, and the green galero (or Roman hat), with six green fiocchi (or tassels) on either side, are a traditional indication that these are the arms of a Bishop”.