At its first graduation ceremony this year, the University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney Campus, was honoured to confer upon the Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP, Bishop of Parramatta, the honorary degree, Doctor of Laws. Bishop Anthony is best known as a bioethicist, lecturer and preacher. He is Adjunct Professor of Bioethics and Moral Theology at the University.
Born in Sydney in 1960, Bishop Anthony attended Sydney University, where he received degrees in History and Law before practising in a city firm. In 1985, he entered the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) and studied for the priesthood in Melbourne, receiving an honours degree in Theology. Bishop Anthony was ordained a priest at Holy Name Parish, Wahroonga in 1991. He went on to complete a Doctorate in Bioethics at the University of Oxford under Professor John Finnis.
Bishop Anthony was a lecturer at Australian Catholic University from 1995 to 2000. From 2000 to 2003 he was foundation Director of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family, Melbourne. Currently, he holds the positions of Professor of Moral Theology and Bioethics at the Institute and is Deputy Chancellor of the Catholic Institute of Sydney.
In 2003, Blessed Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Anthony Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney. In the Sydney Archdiocese, he was Episcopal Vicar for Life and Health, Chairman of the Catholic Schools’ Board. He is currently Chairman of the Catholic Education Commission of New South Wales. Bishop Anthony is a member of the Australian Bishops’ Commission for Doctrine and Morals, the Bishops’ Commission for Health and Community Services and the Pontifical Academy for Life.
Bishop Anthony was Parish Priest of Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish, Watsons Bay, between 2003 and 2010. His community involvements have included: Chaplain to the Parliament of Victoria; Member of the Infertility Treatment Authority of Victoria; Chair or Member of several hospital ethics committees; and Chaplain to various organisations such as the Order of Malta. Bishop Anthony was Coordinator of the massively successful World Youth Day 2008.
In 2010, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Anthony the third Bishop of Parramatta.
Professor Celia Hammond, Vice Chancellor of the University of Notre Dame Australia, said Bishop Anthony’s contribution to the Church and to society has been vast.
“Bishop Anthony has been a great friend and supporter of the University since its inception in Sydney,” said Professor Hammond.
“We are deeply honoured that the Bishop has chosen Notre Dame as a focus for his teaching and involvement with students.”