Bishop Christopher Prowse
Eighth Bishop of Sale – 2009-2013
Bishop Christopher Prowse served the least amount of time of any of the Bishops of Sale, four years and two months, however in that time he was responsible for introducing widespread changes, including moving the diocesan headquarters from Sale to Warragul.
He was born on November 14, 1953, at East Melbourne, the third of six children of Frank and Marion Prowse.
He attended Corpus Christi Seminary from 1972 until 1980 and he was ordained by Archbishop of Melbourne Sir Frank Little in 1980. He served in various parishes in the archdiocese and in 2001 was made Vicar-General and Moderator of the Curia.In April 2003 he was made an auxiliary bishop of Melbourne, a position he held until he was appointed Bishop of Sale. He was installed as the eighth bishop on July 15, 2009.
As well as locating all diocesan offices to the Sion House site in Warragul, the bishop also instigated a major refurbishment of St Mary’s Cathedral, Sale, and was in the process of streamlining diocesan agencies when he was appointed to Canberra & Goulburn in November 2013.
The arms of Bishop Prowse were developed when he was an auxiliary bishop in Melbourne.
The traditional green hat signifies a bishop as does the three layers of six green tassles down each side of the shield. Since becoming archbishop another layer of four tassles has been added on each side.
The staff surmounting by a single cross running behind the shield is also a traditional heraldic symbol for a bishop.The light blue background on the arms represents the Marian presence caring for the Church.The Southern Cross in the top left recalls that Bishop Prowse is an Australian under the sign and protection of the Cross of Jesus Christ – the principal Christian symbol.
The monogram of Maria Regina in the top right signified the bishop’s devotion to Mary, Mother and Queen. She always leads us to Jesus. She is active contemplative at the heart of the Church. It reminds Bishop Prowse that he served in several parishes whose Patroness was the Blessed Virgin Mary.The open Bible and letters Alpha and Omega refer to Christ, the beginning and the end. At the Easter Vigil we pray “Christ yesterday and today, the beginning and the end. The Alpha and Omega. All time belongs to Him and all the ages. To Him be glory and power through every age and forever. Amen.”This symbol is also that of Catholic Theological College where Bishop Prowse lectured from 1988 to 2001.
The motto “Only Jesus” (solus jesus in the Latin version of his arms) comes from the Transfiguration. “Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no-one with them any more but only Jesus.” (Mark 9:8)