WWII chaplain and bishop dead at 98

Fifth oldest bishop in the world and possibly Australia's last living World War II chaplain, retired Military diocese Bishop Aloysius Morgan has died at 98.

Bishop Morgan was Australia's first Catholic military bishop and former Auxiliary Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, the diocesan news reports.

Bishop Morgan died in his sleep on Wednesday night after returning from Calvary Hospital to his home at Villaggio Sant' Antonio in Canberra.

He began a long time connection with the armed services when he became a chaplain with the Australian Army in 1941. He served in New Guinea and was present at the formal surrender of the Japanese at Wewak in September 1945.

Melbourne born, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn in March 1969. He retired as bishop in 1985, and lived at the Cathedral presbytery for 19 years. He continued to celebrate Mass regularly at the Cathedral for many years.

In paying tribute, Archbishop Mark Coleridge said Bishop Morgan was the son of a remarkable Melbourne family and showed himself through his life a remarkable human being, soldier and priest. 

"His life was full not only of years but of much else that made him such a memorable character. His courage and devotion to duty as a military chaplain were legendary, as were the depth of his Christian faith and his loyalty to the Church. He flourished in the shadow of giants like Archbishop Daniel Mannix, whom he much admired. 

"His unique place in the annals of the Australian Defence Force and the Catholic Church in Australia is assured."

Funeral details are yet to be confirmed.


Bishop Aloysius Morgan dies


History of chaplaincy in the Australian Defence Force (Catholic diocese of the Australian Defence Force)

Australian Defence Force diocese


Last post for Melbourne's multicultural pioneer  (CathNews, 9/10/06)



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