John Morgan (1909 – 2008) Australian Army, Chaplain General
The Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Mark Coleridge, said Morgan’s “courage and devotion to duty as a military chaplain were legendary, as was the depth of his Christian faith”.
John Morgan was ordained a priest on 15 July 1934 for the Archdiocese of Melbourne. During the Second World War he served as a Chaplain with the Second Australian Imperial Force in Papua New Guinea from 1942 to 1945. He later recalled that his experiences there were a formative part of his spiritual and personal life. He remained an Army Chaplain until 1981 when he stepped down as the Army’s Chaplain General. While in Melbourne he was placed in charge of various parishes including, in 1953, St James’ parish in Richmond.
Morgan was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn as well as Titular Bishop of Membressa on 6 March 1969. He was ordained bishop on 28 April 1969. He was appointed on 29 May 1969 to the Roman Catholic Military Ordinariate of Australia where he would remain until of 2 January 1985, as well as the auxiliary bishop of the Canberra and Goulburn archdiocese.
But Beach, New Guinea. May 1945. Army Chaplain, the Reverend Father John Aloysius Morgan, Senior Roman Catholic Chaplain of the 6th Division celebrating mass prior to members of the Division embarking for the assault on the Wewak Peninsula.
Bishop Morgan later became Chaplain General of the Australian Army.
The Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Mark Coleridge, said Morgan’s “courage and devotion to duty as a military chaplain were legendary, as was the depth of his Christian faith … his unique place in the annals of the Australian Defence Force and the Catholic Church in Australia is assured”.
Australian chaplains at war
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