Most Rev Julian Porteous BTheol DD VG was born in Sydney on 5th June 1949 and baptised in Rose Bay Parish. Bishop Porteous is the eldest of five children, having two brothers and two sisters.
Bishop Porteous has been actively involved in evangelisation, particularly among young people. He organised a number of evangelisation rallies – Jesus Christ at Manly Oval (1983), Jesus Christ at Belmore Oval (1984) – to reach out to young Catholics. He was instrumental in establishing the Pastoral Training School (now called “Summer School”), which, since 1984, has formed thousands of young Catholics in their Catholic faith and in the pastoral skills necessary to contribute to the Church’s evangelising ministry. He has been an advocate of the New Evangelisation called for by Pope John Paul II and has organised two colloquiums on the New Evangelisation and, in 2009, organised a Congress on the New Evangelisation (SCENE).
The bishop was involved with the early development of the Disciples of Jesus Community and continues to have association with a number of ecclesial movements.
Bishop Porteous was appointed Rector of the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Sydney, in January 2002 and served in this role until the end of 2008.
Pope John Paul II named him Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney in July 2003 and he was ordained by Cardinal George Pell at St Mary’s Cathedral on 3 September 2003. He has been assigned the titular See of Urusi, which is in modern-day Tunisia.
Bishop Porteous chose as his motto, “Gratia et Veritas” – “Grace and Truth”. St John describes the Lord as bringing “grace and truth” (John 1:17). Grace is the work of the Holy Spirit bringing about the grace of conversion and the nurturing of faith. Truth is also the gift of the “Spirit of Truth” (John 14:17) who enlightens the mind. The Holy Spirit is the agent of the work of God in us – bringing us to faith and then transforming our minds and leading us “into all truth” (John 16:13).
Bishop Porteous has published a number of books including, “St Brendan’s, a Journey: The Story of an Australian Catholic Parish 1898 – 1998” (1997); “The New Evangelisation, Developing Evangelical Preaching” (2008); “After the Heart of God: the Life and Ministry of Priests at the Beginning of the Third Millennium” (2009). “A New Wine & Fresh Skins: Ecclesial Movements in the Church” (2010). Streams of Grace: Spiritual Movements that Shaped the Church (2011).
His recreational interests are bush walking, swimming, tennis, and following the Wallabies.