‘A man for God’ – Abp Francis Carroll dies aged 93

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, has paid tribute to Archbishop Francis Carroll, who died in Wagga Wagga on March 14, 2024, aged 93.

“Not just a man of God, but a man for God” was how Archbishop Francis Carroll was described at a civic dinner in 2006.

Labor leader Kim Beazley was at the time paying tribute to the retiring Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn.

Archbishop Carroll died peacefully on the morning of March 14, aged 93, at Calvary Hospital in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.

He once said: “I chose to become a priest, I accepted to be a bishop and an archbishop, but it was always with a sense of following what I believed was a call from God. Wherever that would lead, I was happy to go.”

Studying Canon law in Rome at the time of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s gave him what he described as a “vision of what the Church could be”.

The key message he took out of Vatican II was: “Everyone has gifts and if you can somehow bring together these gifts then you will have a vibrant body.”

Archbishop Carroll showed a special love for the poor and struggling and was a great champion for Aboriginal people and refugees and asylum seekers.

Francis Patrick Carroll was Bishop of Wagga Wagga between 1968 and 1983, serving as the fifth Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn from 1983 to 2006.

Born in Ganmain, NSW, he was ordained a priest in 1954 and served in Griffith and Albury.

He was appointed to the role of Assistant Diocesan Inspector of Schools and became Director of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Wagga Wagga in 1965.

Archbishop Carroll was the first chairperson of the National Catholic Education Commission from 1974 to 1978, remaining a member until 1988.

We entrust Archbishop Carroll to the compassion and love of the God whom he served so well. May he rest in peace.


With great sadness, I announce the death this morning of Emeritus Archbishop Francis Carroll, the Fifth Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn. He was 93 years of age.

Born 9 September 1930 and ordained a priest on 27 July 1954.  Archbishop Carroll served the Canberra and Goulburn Archdiocese from 1983 until his resignation in 2006.  Prior to this he was Bishop of the Diocese of Wagga Wagga from 1968 to 1983.

Archbishop Carroll served as the President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference from 2000-2006.  He was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001, an honour introduced during the Centenary of Federation year.

Archbishop Carroll is well remembered as the first Australian Bishop to call a Diocesan Synod following the 1960’s Second Vatican Council, followed by a second Synod in 2000. He welcomed Pope John Paul II to the National Capital during his visit to Australia in 1986 and is well remembered for his active support and encouragement to the youth and renewal movements.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse

Catholic Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn

Funeral Liturgies

St Brendan’s Church, Ganmain – 7.00pm 19 March 2024

St Michael’s Cathedral, Wagga Wagga – Mass 11.00am 20 March 2024

St Christopher’s Cathedral, Canberra – Vigil 7.30pm 20 March 2024

Funeral Mass and Burial

Pontifical Requiem Mass for Archbishop Carroll

will be celebrated at St Christopher’s Cathedral,

Cnr of Canberra Ave & Furneaux St,

Manuka, at 11am on Thursday 21 March 2024.

Internment in the crypt of St Christopher’s Cathedral

will occur at the conclusion of Mass.

Hear with favour our prayers, which we humbly offer, O Lord,

For the salvation of the soul of Francis Carroll, your servant and priest,

That he, who devoted a faithful ministry to your name,

May rejoice in the perpetual company of your Saints.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

One God, for ever and ever.



Requiescat in pace.