The Most Rev. Christopher Saunders completed schooling at St Bede’s College in Mentone, Victoria, after which he commenced studies for the priesthood with the Columban Fathers and spent three years studying philosophy.
Already interested in Aboriginal issues and involved with some Aboriginal study groups he made contact with Bishop Jobst from Broome and a short while later offered himself as a candidate for the priesthood for the Diocese of Broome.
He completed his theological studies at St Francis Xavier Seminary in Adelaide. In 1975 he worked as a Deacon in Broome and after ordination entered the priesthood. In 1976 he commenced work at La Grange Mission, moving to Lombadina Mission in 1978.
He worked as a priest at Kalumburu Mission from 1982-1988.
In 1989 he was appointed to Broome as Administrator and retained that position until 1995, interrupted only by two years of study to obtain a Licentiate in Canon Law at St Paul’s Pontifical University in Ottawa, Canada.
The Most Rev. Christopher Saunders is only the second Bishop of Broome and is in charge on one of Australia’s unique dioceses – 773,000 square kilometres with a total population of approximately 50,000 people. He travels enormous distances in his job as he ministers to and oversees the welfare of the 10,000 Catholics in his care.
Bishop Saunders states “I see the Church as having an important role in and contribution to make to the process of reconciliation between individuals and communities.” The motto he chose for his ministry “Caritas Christi Urget Nos” – Let’s all be motivated by the love of Christ, indicates the means by which this reconciliation can become a reality.