Julian Charles Porteous was born on June 5, 1949, Sydney and baptised in Rose Bay Parish. He is the eldest of five children, having two brothers and two sisters.
Archbishop Porteous has family links to Tasmania. His forebears arrived in Tasmanian from England in 1853. His great grandfather and great grandmother were both born in Hobart, within one kilometre of St Mary’s Cathedral. His grandfather was named Manful Charles Hobart Granger.
Archbishop Porteous completed his primary education in Melbourne, Singapore and Parramatta before he undertook secondary schooling with the De La Salle Brothers at Oakhill College, Castle Hill.
Archbishop Porteous entered St Columba’s Seminary, Springwood, in 1968, then continued studies for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Manly, from 1971. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Sydney on September 7, 1974.
Archbishop Porteous served as Assistant Priest in the parishes of Kingsgrove, Manly, The Entrance, Woy Woy and Mona Vale.
In 1996, he was appointed Administrator of the Parish of Annandale and then Parish Priest of Dulwich Hill in 1999.
Archbishop Porteous is 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. He was responsible for evangelisation and renewal in the Archdiocese of Sydney until his appointment as Archbishop of Hobart.
In this capacity, Archbishop Porteous established an Office for Evangelisation, CREDO, which has been responsible for a number of important evangelisation initiatives including Walk with Christ (an annual procession of the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of New Zealand), SCENE (a week long city mission in the CBD), Open the Doors to Christ (parish missions in the New Evangelisation), and several Colloquia on the New Evangelisation (equipping Catholics for the evangelising mission of the Church).
Archbishop Porteous also established CRADIO, a digital radio service which promotes the New Evangelisation through the new media.
Archbishop Porteous has been involved with a number of new ecclesial movements. He actively promotes the role and work of the new ecclesial movements as a grace given to the Church in our time to renew the Catholic faith and promote the evangelising mission of the Church.
Archbishop 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 Archbishop Porteous as Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney in July 2003 and he was ordained by Cardinal George Pell at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney on September 3, 2003.
He has been assigned the Titular See of Urusi, which is in modern-day Tunisia.
Archbishop 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 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).
Archbishop Porteous is a member of the Bishop’s Commission for Evangelisation, which, among its many duties, promotes outreach to all including those who have no faith, those who do not share the Catholic faith, those who are disconnected from the Church, and those who are actively involved in the Church.
He is also a member of the Bishop’s Commission for Administration and Information, which is responsible for the life and mission of the Catholic Church in Australia in regards to the financial administration, employment conditions, pastoral research and communications of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
When Most Rev Julian Porteous was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney and titular Bishop of Urusi in July 2003, in the tradition of the Church, he adopted personal arms. These arms have been redesigned for his use as Ordinary of the Archdiocese of Hobart. Those arms comprise a number of emblems significant to him.
Coat of Arms:
These are displayed with the arms of the Archdiocese on one shield with a vertical division line to show his union with the Archdiocese.
The personal arms are divided horizontally. The upper half is charged with a representation of the Holy Spirit derived from the Bernini designed window above the Altar in St. Peter’s Basilica. The lower half is charged with the Book of the Word with the letters alpha and omega in red.
The Archbishop’s personal arms are accompanied with the arms of the Archdiocese which have been in use since their adoption by Archbishop William Barry in 1937 and remain unchanged but have been re-rendered. They are blazoned with the silver initial “M” on a blue field. The “M” is the initial letter of the name of the Virgin Mother of God which is surmounted by the gold celestial crown of the Queen of Heaven.
Behind the arms is the gold processional cross of an Archbishop with its double traverse. The shield is surmounted by the green galero (Roman hat) with ten fiocchi (tassels) appropriate to an Archbishop.
The Archbishop’s personal arms were designed by Fr Guy Selvester and Richard d’Apice AM KCSG, President of The Australian Heraldry Society, and the full achievement of arms has been illustrated by Sandy Turnbull also of the Australian Heraldry Society.
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).