The Right Reverend Mark O’Toole, Bishop of Plymouth
The Rt Rev Mark O’Toole, Bishop of Plymouth, assumed the role of Patron of the School of the Annunciation in 2014, present at the Foundation Mass on the Feast of The Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Buckfast Abbey on 8th September 2014. During his address marking this important occasion Bishop O’Toole said:
- ‘Our mission for the New Evangelisation will be greatly enhanced through the work of the School. We are all so pleased to have such a great resource in the Diocese of Plymouth. Personally, it is such a grace to be able to be present for the celebrations and to entrust all concerned to the loving care of Our Blessed Lady.’
Ordained to the priesthood in 1990 by Cardinal Basil Hume OSB, he was appointed to the faculty of Allen Hall Seminary, Archdiocese of Westminster, in 1997 as a lecturer in Theology and Formation advisor. In 1999 he was appointed the Dean of Studies at Allen Hall, a post he held until 2002, when he became the Private Secretary to Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster. In 2008 he returned to Allen Hall to assume the position of Rector. In November 2013 Fr O’Toole became the first English bishop appointed by Pope Francis, being ordained the ninth Bishop of Plymouth on the 28th January 2014.
Bishop O’Toole holds a B.Sc. in Geography from the University of Leicester, a M. Phil in Theology at the University of Oxford, writing his thesis on the relationship between Divine and Human freedom, and a Licence in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University, Leuven, granted in 2000.
With his educational and vocational experience of leading, and teaching at, one of the English Church’s leading seminaries Bishop O’Toole knows the fundamental importance of evangelisation and catechesis. In 2014 he was appointed the chair of the Bishops’ Conference’s Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, responsible for the national evangelisation initiative, Proclaim ’15.