About Us

The Catholic Diocese of the Australian Defence Force

The Catholic Military Ordinariate of Australia has been charged with the pastoral care of uniformed members of Australia’s Navy, Army and Air Force, their families and of the civilians employed by the Department of Defence.

The origins of the Military Diocese go back to 1911 when the then Archbishop of Melbourne was delegated by the Catholic Bishops of Australia to confer with the Department of Defence concerning the appointment of Catholic Chaplains.

In 1917, the Church appointed Archbishop Daniel Mannix of Melbourne to take over the Defence Force responsibilities and he was appointed Chaplain-General (Catholic). During World War 2, Archbishop Mannix was responsible for the spiritual welfare of Catholic members of the Defence Forces of Australia. He continued as Chaplain-General (Catholic) until his death in 1963.

In 1969, the Church, wishing to further develop a structure by which Catholic Military members could avail themselves of spiritual and pastoral care, created the Military Vicariate with its first full-time bishop. Bishop John Aloysius Morgan was the first Military Vicar. 1986 saw the creation of the Military Ordinariate of Australia, commonly known as the Catholic Diocese of the Australian Defence Force. Over a period of one hundred and six years, the Church has sought to spiritually and pastorally support members of the Defence Forces and their families. This mission remains constant today.

The Military Diocese is proud of its faithful service under God. It fully supports the Australian Defence Force’s priority of holistic care for the wellbeing of all members of the ADF and seeks to achieve this through the provision of religious support and pastoral care of all members in collaboration with the various Faith Groups represented within Defence.

Your prayers and support for our chaplains are greatly appreciated along with your continuing support for all who serve.