The Lyons-Ryan Family of 'Ellendale', Marong, Victoria

Archbishop Denis Hart

On 22 June 2001, Partick and Ellen Lyons' great grandson, Rev Denis Hart, was appointed as Archbishop of Melbourne.

The following text and photographs are extracted from the official programme published on the occasion of the mass celebrating the appointment (1 August 2001).




Archbishop Denis Hart was born at East Melbourne on 13 May 1941, the elder of two living children of Kevin James Hart and Annie Eileen Larkan. His primary education was at St John's Marist Brothers, Hawthorn 1946-53 and Xavier College, Kew 1953-59. He studied for the priesthood at Corpus Christi College, Werribee 1960-63 and Corpus Christi College, Glen Waverley 1963-67. He was ordained to the priesthood at St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne on 22 July 1967.


Archbishop Denis Hart

He was appointed Chaplain at the Repatriation Hospital, Heidelberg from 20 December 1967 to 20 January 1968; then Assistant Priest, North Balwyn (1968), Assistant Priest and Master of Ceremonies at St Patrick's Cathedral (1969-74). On 25 March 1970 he was appointed Prefect of Ceremonies for the Archdiocese of Melbourne (this appointment continued until 17 August 1996). On 25 January 1975 he was appointed Advocate and Notary of the Regional Matrimonial Tribunal, residing in North Richmond Parish (this appointment continued until 1 October 1985). He was Executive Secretary of the National Liturgical Commission of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference from 1 July 1975 until 1 July 1990.

He was Liturgy Director and Assistant Master of Ceremonies for the whole of the Australian Papal Visit in November 1986.

On 28 January 1987, he was appointed Parish Priest of St Joseph's, West Brunswick. On 1 September 1996 he became Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia and subsequently Diocesan Consultor; Chairman of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission; Deputy Chairman of the Diocesan Extension and Maintenance Fund; Deputy Chairman of the Diocesan Finance Council; Secretary of the Roman Catholic Trust Corporation for the Archdiocese of Melbourne; Ex-officio member of the Archbishop's Personnel Advisory Board; of the Archbishop's Committee for new areas in the Archdiocese; and a nominee of the Archbishop of Melbourne on the Committee of Catholic Capital Grants.

On 10 November 1997 he was named Titular Bishop of Vagada and Auxiliary Bishop to the Archdiocese of Melbourne and was consecrated on 9 December 1997. As a Bishop he has retained all of the above offices and in addition to Diocesan ministries has worked in the Southern Region of the Archdiocese. He is Secretary of the Bishops of the Province of Melbourne and a member of the Australian Catholic University.

In the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference he is a member of the Committee for Laity (since 1998) and of the Committee for Liturgy (since 2000). In November-December 1998 he participated in the Synod for Oceania in the Vatican.

On 22 June 2001 he was appointed Archbishop of Melbourne and on 29 June 2001 received the Pallium in St Peter's Square, Rome, with the other newly appointed Archbishops at the hands of Pope John Paul II.


Archbishop Hart with Pope John Paul II

Archbishop Hart with Pope John Paul II


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