He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Westminster in 1990 and served as private secretary to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the archbishop of Westminster, from 2002 to 2008. He was rector of Allen Hall seminary in London from 2008 until he was appointed bishop of Plymouth in 2013.
O’Toole is president of the England and Welsh bishops’ department of evangelization and catechesis. He is also a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.
In 2021, he spoke out about the plight of a Polish patient in a U.K. hospital after a court permitted the withdrawal of food and water from the practicing Catholic man.
In March this year, he praised Pope Francis’ decision to consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, saying he was “touched by the Holy Father’s initiative.”
O’Toole’s installation will take place at Cardiff Cathedral on June 20, the feast day of Welsh martyrs Ss. Julius and Aaron.
He will be the eighth archbishop of Cardiff, which was elevated to an archdiocese in 1916, serves around 131,000 Catholics, and has eight deaneries covering Cardiff, the Welsh Valleys, Bridgend, Hereford, Newport, North Gwent, and Pontypridd.
He will be the fourth bishop of Menevia, a diocese with deep historical roots that took on its present form in 1987. The diocese, which serves an estimated 28,000 Catholics, covers Swansea, Carmarthen, Llandrindod Wells, Haverfordwest, and Port Talbot.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said: “Today’s news of the appointment of Bishop Mark O’Toole as Metropolitan Archbishop of Cardiff and Bishop of Menevia, in persona Episcopi, is most welcome.”
“I offer Bishop Mark my fullest support and fervent prayers as he prepares to take on this new role. I am sure that the Catholic community throughout Wales will welcome him warmly, as will leaders of other churches there and those of civic society. St. David and all saints of Wales, pray for him.”