Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP is also an established academic – and he relishes the chance to get back to the classroom and teach.
Archbishop Fisher, who is also Adjunct Professor of Bioethics at Notre Dame, is one of Australia's best-known bioethicists and is internationally recognised for his contributions to writing, discussion and research on bioethical issues.
His expertise is part of the reason he serves as a member of the Church's top doctrinal watchdog, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome.
Last week he talked about moral and legal matters with the first-year medicine students, covering issues such as "The Dignity of the Person in Healthcare", and "The Just Allocation of Resources".
"I've always loved teaching so it was great to be back in the lecture theatre and to spend time with some of our doctors of the future," Archbishop Fisher said.
"We had a lively discussion about the dignity of the human person and how we should allocate our health resources in health systems that are regularly said to be in crisis."
He was joined by another world-class thinker, Professor Margaret Somerville AM, Head of Bioethics at the School of Medicine at Notre Dame.
The medicine degree replaces Notre Dame's former Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery degrees and, along with the additional emphasis on bioethics, incorporates a significant applied research-based or professionally-focused project to be presented and examined in the final year.
"Ethics are integral to being a good doctor and must be embedded in all that you do as a doctor, they are not an add-on," Professor Somerville told the inaugural cohort of 120 students.