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.
Ordination as Bishop
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).