Archbishop Mark Benedict Coleridge was born in Melbourne on 25 September, 1948, the third of five children of Bernard Coleridge and Marjorie Harvey (both deceased).
He was ordained a priest in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne on 18 May 1974 by Bishop John Kelly, then serving as Administrator of the diocese following the retirement of Cardinal James Knox. After Ordination, he worked as an assistant priest in various Melbourne parishes for a few years before studying Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute. After four years in Rome and Jerusalem he returned to Melbourne to teach Scripture.
Three years later he was again back in Rome for doctoral studies, after which he returned to teach in Melbourne and was eventually made the Master of Catholic Theological College. In late 1997 he was both greatly surprised and humbled to be invited to work in the Vatican Secretariat of State. Four years later he returned to Australia and was episcopally ordained Auxiliary Bishop f