FROM Charleville to Rome it's been a very busy first 100 days in office for Toowoomba's new Catholic Bishop Robert McGuckin.
Since his ordination in St Patrick's Cathedral in July, Bishop McGuckin has been travelling the western regions of the vast Toowoomba Diocese to meet the local parishioners and their parish priests.
"The hospitality of everyone has just been wonderful," he told The Chronicle.
"Everyone has been very gracious and welcoming.
"I got a realisation of the vastness of the Toowoomba Diocese and a bit of an understanding of the work of the priests out west.
"Everyone knows the local priest who sometimes is the only clergy in the town.
"I've been getting to know the priests of the diocese and they have been getting to know me.
"I like to try and encourage them and I'd like to get some help for them possibly with some young priests, but of course it doesn't happen overnight."
He said he was very impressed by the involvement of the laity in the parishes and the enthusiasm of the children of the schools he had visited.
Bishop McGuckin joined 93 other newly appointed bishops from around the world for a 10-day visit to Rome to meet with Pope Benedict XVI and the leaders of various Vatican-based organisations.
It was the Toowoomba bishop's first meeting with Benedict as Pope though the two had met before Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI.
"We had a brief discussion and he actually engages you in conversation," Bishop McGuckin said.
"Toowoomba was a name he knew about and he wished us all well."
So busy in his first 100 days has the bishop been, he still hasn't finished unpacking since moving from Sydney to Toowoomba in July.
"Now when people ask me where I'm from I tell them 'Toowoomba'," he said with a smile.
"I have Queensland registration on my car and I've changed my driver's licence to a Queensland one.
"Although, I may have to change my New South Wales fishing licence to a Queensland one too," the keen fisherman said.
Bishop McGuckin has called on his predecessor Bishop William Morris to help with his busy schedule.
"Bishop Morris has been helping me with a few things," he said.
"I can't be in two places at once and he is going to Charleville and Quilpie to do confirmations.
"And he's happy to do that for me."