2019 Pilgrimage

The Most Reverend Mark O’Toole, Bishop of Plymouth

The Most Reverend Mark O’Toole, Bishop of Plymouth

In 2019 the Pilgrimage was led by Bishop Mark O’Toole.

Born on 22nd June 1963 in London, he gained a degree in Geography from Leicester University before studying for the priesthood at Allen Hall. He was ordained a priest on 9 June 1990 by Cardinal Basil Hume for the Archdiocese of Westminster. He was assistant priest in St Mary Magdalene parish, Willesden Green, for five years before being appointed Dean of Studies at the Westminster diocesan seminary, Allen Hall. Between 2002 and 2008 he served as private secretary to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor before his appointment as the Rector of Allen Hall Seminary in September 2008.

On 9 November 2013, Fr O’Toole was appointed the ninth Bishop of Plymouth by Pope Francis. He received his episcopal consecration on 28 January 2014.

Later in 2014, the Bishops of England & Wales agreed to write to their dioceses about the forthcoming Assisted Dying Bill tabled by Lord Falconer. In his letter Bishop O’Toole wrote,

‘We must work .. to promote a culture of life rather than in promoting a sense of hopelessness for people in very difficult circumstances. Always we must seek to protect those who are most vulnerable, especially the terminally ill, the disabled and the elderly. We must treasure and value these individuals among us…, I ask for your prayer at this time that we will show, as a society, that we cherish life in all its vulnerability…’

Bishop O’Toole is the Chair of the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England & Wales. He is also an honorary Canon of Truro and Exeter Cathedrals.

Gallery of previous pilgrimages