Tag Archive: australian catholic bishops

Autumn Ember Day

In case you may have missed it amongst the other things that have been taking place in recent days, today is an Ember Day in Australia.

The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference decided in recent years that the first Fridays of Autumn and Spring should be kept as special days of prayer and penance.

On rogation and ember days the practice of the Church is to offer prayers to the Lord for the needs of all people, especially for the productivity of the earth and for human labour, and to give him public thanks.

(General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar)

Amidst our prayers for the cardinals as they prepare for the papal election, we continue our prayers and offer the sacrifices of our fasting and penance for all those facing the effects of storms, flooding and fire in our country.

See also:




Wilcannia-Forbes news

As the diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes in New South Wales awaits news of a new bishop – and indeed, news about its future as a diocese – I’ve just seen a feed announcing the death of its Bishop Emeritus, Douglas Warren, who apparently died yesterday, 6 February 2013, at the age of 93.  He was auxiliary bishop of Wilcannia-Forbes from 1964 to 1967, and then diocesan bishop from 1967 to 1994.   At the time of his death he was the oldest Catholic bishop in Australia.

May he rest in peace.




I have arrived this afternoon in a very foggy Toowoomba.   Tomorrow morning is the consecration of Monsignor Robert McGuckin as the sixth bishop of Toowoomba.

The first time I visited Toowoomba was in my first week in the seminary, in February 1993.   On that occasion we journeyed up the Range for the episcopal consecration of Bishop William Morris.

Please say a prayer for Monsignor McGuckin, and also the priests, religious and laity of Toowoomba.  A new bishop is always a new beginning, of sorts, for a dicoese.

[I do have some photos, but have been having trouble uploading them, so will try later].

Please remember in your prayers our Archbishop, Mark Coleridge, who will receive the pallium from Pope Benedict XVI on June 29, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.  Various representatives of the Archdiocese are present in Rome with him for the pallium ceremony.

The pallium is a band of fabric about two inches wide, made of white lamb’s wool, that circles the neck and hangs down in the front and back.  It is worn over the chasuble during Mass.  “The pallium signifies the power which the metropolitan, in communion with the Roman Church, has by law in his own province” (canon 437).

On the Feast of Saint Agnes in February each year, two lambs are blessed by the Pope, and the wool from these lambs are made by a group of nuns into the pallium, which is presented on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul to all those who have become Metropolitan Archbishops in the previous year.

Regions of the Church are broken up into ecclesiastical provinces.  Each province has a Metropolitan Archbishop, and then there are one or more suffragan sees/dioceses in the province.  Canon Law ascribes to the bishops of an ecclesiastical province certain responsibilities, e.g. every three years they are to compose a list of priests suitable for the office of bishop and send the list to the Apostolic See (c. 377), and to determine the offering to be given for the celebration and application of Mass (c. 952).   Canon 436 outlines the competencies of a Metropolitan Archbishop in his province.   The pallium may only be worn within the territory of the Metroplitan’s province.

Being made of lamb’s wool, I like to think of the pallium – which is worn over the shoulders – as a reminder that the Metropolitan Archbishop is to act like Christ the Good Shepherd, who cares for the flock, even carrying the sheep back to the safety of the pasture.

Hands-on Archbishop

Archbishop Coleridge is wasting no time in putting his words into practice, of being “hands-on” from the outset.  It has been great seeing him in the Cathedral celebrating daily Mass, something he hopes to continue doing.

He is quoted in The Catholic Leader as saying, “From the outset I want to be quite ‘hands on’ so I can get a handle on things from early on, […] I don’t want things happening around me or decisions being taken without reference to me.”  The article continues: “The setting up of an office in the Francis Rush Centre next to St Stephen’s Cathedral, and the intention to celebrate Mass as often as possible in the cathedral, are among practical ways Archbishop Coleridge will achieve this.”

Toowoomba has a new bishop

The information has just been released that the Holy Father has appointed a new bishop to Toowoomba.

Monsignor Robert McGuckin of Parramatta will succeed Bishop Bill Morris as the sixth Bishop of Toowoomba, and will be ordained bishop on 11 July 2012, the feast of Saint Benedict.

Prayers for the bishop-elect and the faithful of Toowoomba.

See also:

Apostolic Nunciature announcement – Toowoomba

Other statements at: http://www.catholic.org.au/

Australia Incognita: A bishop-elect for Toowoomba at last: Rev Robert McGurkin

Concelebrants waiting to enter the cathedral before the Mass

The weather was perfect today as the 7th bishop, and 6th archbishop took canonical possession of the Archdiocese of Brisbane.  Canon 382, 3 & 4 states: “A Bishop takes canonical possession of his diocese when, personally or by proxy, he shows the apostolic letters to the college of consultors, in the presence of the chancellor of the curia, who makes a record of the fact. […] It is strongly recommended that the taking of canonical possession be performed with a liturgical act in the cathedral church, in the presence of the clergy and the people.”

This ceremony took place during a splendid Mass in Brisbane’s Cathedral of Saint Stephen, concelebrated by bishops from around Australia, and clergy of Brisbane and beyond.  Heads of Churches were well represented, and in attendance also was the Governor of Queensland, the Premier, the Chief Justice and the leader of the Opposition.  The Cathedral was packed with representatives from parishes, schools, religious, and the various organisations that make up the archdiocese.  A large number followed the ceremony on screens outside the cathedral, and many more would have joined the celebrations via the live feed on the internet (the Mass may be viewed online at http://bne.catholic.net.au/asp/index.asp?pgid=12098).

Upon entering the Cathedral this morning, immediately evident was the new Archbishop’s coat of arms above the cathedra, something that has not been seen in our cathedral, certainly since the renovations in the late 80’s.

I’ve been away from the diocese for some time, so it was interesting and pleasing to see a few liturgical changes that I hope are permanent and not just for today.  Chief on my “happy to see” list was the use of proper chants at the Entrance, Offertory and Communion, instead of hymns.  I love hymns as much as anyone, however the Roman Rite of Mass is meant to be accompanied by chants, both for the Ordinary of the Mass, and at the above mentioned times.  One of my hopes is that the use of the revised English translation of the Roman Missal will encourage much more use of chant for the Propers of the Mass.

Some will be very happy to know that – finally – the norms of Redemptionis sacramentum were observed and that the Precious Blood was not poured from vessel to vessel.  I certainly hope that the procedure observed today is here to stay.  It always seemed a little odd that most parishes adapted their practices but the cathedral didn’t.

And while it is hardly earth-shattering, it was absolutely beautiful to hear bells rung once again at the elevations.  Their elimination always seemed unnecessary to me, and with all the other beautiful music in today’s Mass, the sound of bells during this high-point of the celebration is hardly out of place.

The new Archbishop preached strongly about the need for the Church to truly become missionary, and to embrace the new evangelisation which has been called for not just by the Popes, but indeed by the Holy Spirit.  At another point the Archbishop reflected on his episcopal motto: Sanguis et aqua – Blood and water: a reference to the blood and water which flowed from Christ after his side was pierced with a lance.  In this he echoed themes that I remember him preaching on in retreats he gave to us in the seminary: there is no weakness that cannot be turned – by God – into a manifestation of his power and strength.

Some of the concelebrating Bishops at the conclusion of Mass

His Grace also taught us – something that I had never known before – that Brisbane means “bone breaker.”  He promised not to be a bone breaker, but did add that difficult decisions don’t necessarily please everyone.  (For more on the etymology of “Brisbane” see http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Brisbane).

All in all, it was a joyful celebration for the beginning of a new chapter in the life of our Archdiocese.

Welcome, Archbishop Mark!  

Please pray for him as he begins his ministry as our Pastor, and – as he said in his homily – that in seeing and hearing him, we will in fact see and hear Jesus Christ.

Thanks to Bishop Jarrett:

P.S. As Archbishop Coleridge took possession of the diocese, Bishop Jarrett’s role as Apostolic Administrator came to a conclusion.  Please say a prayer in thanksgiving for Bishop Jarrett’s willingness to take on the governance of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, as well as that of his own diocese of Lismore, during the time that Brisbane was sede vacante.

UPDATE 12 MAY 2012:

There are some more bits and pieces over at The Acolyte’s Tale.

Back in Brisbane

It’s great to be home (did I say that already?)!

Today I began my practicum in the chancery and tribunal.  I’ll be doing this for the next six weeks.

From the window of my office I can see the cathedral, which is currently a hive of activity (even more than usual) getting ready for Archbishop Coleridge’s liturgical reception as the 7th bishop, and 6th archbishop of Brisbane on Friday morning.

The Archbishop’s Installation can be viewed via live webcast here: http://bne.catholic.net.au/asp/index.asp?pgid=12098 – Friday 11 May 2012, 10.15am to approx. 12.30pm.

It was nice to hear from a correspondent that 40 hours of Eucharistic Adoration was held in the past couple of days to pray for our new Archbishop in Brisbane, Mark Coleridge.

Why not commit yourself to praying for Archbishop Coleridge?  How about a rosary once a month, or weekly?

You can register that you are praying for him on Rosary for the Bishop.

Brisbane has a new Archbishop!

A new era begins for the Archdiocese of Brisbane.

The announcement has come through that Archbishop Mark Coleridge, currently Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn, has been appointed by the Holy Father as the next Archbishop of Brisbane.

We warmly welcome Archbishop Coleridge, and ask God’s blessing upon him as he leads our Archdiocese in the coming years.

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Official press releases:

Statement from Archbishop Coleridge: Statement from Archbishop Mark Coleridge

Statement from the Archdiocese of Brisbane: Statement from the Archdiocese of Brisbane

Announcement from the Nunciature:  Nunciature announcement

(The above can also be found at http://www.catholic.org.au/index.php?option=com_docman&Itemid=355)

Other information about Archbishop Coleridge:

Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocesan website: http://www.cg.catholic.org.au/about/default.cfm?loadref=15




Other sites carrying this story:

Australia Incognita:  http://australiaincognita.blogspot.ca/2012/04/archbishop-coleridge-goes-to-brisbane.html

CathNews:  http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=30829

Dominus mihi adjutor:  http://hughosb.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/archbishop-coleridge-translated-to-brisbane/

Doohan it this Way:  http://doohan.id.au/2012/04/02/new-archbishop-of-brisbane-announced/

Sentire Cum Ecclesia:  http://scecclesia.com/?p=6316

Vatican News:  http://www.news.va/en/news/archbishop-coleridge-appointed-to-brisbane

Vexilla Regis:  http://vexilla-regis.blogspot.ca/2012/04/new-archbishop-of-brisbane-gaudete-et.html

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Many had predicted this move, so it isn’t really a surprise.  For what it’s worth, I think Archbishop Coleridge is an excellent choice for our Archdiocese, and I look forward to working with him.

Ecce sacerdos magnus, qui in diebus suis placuit Deo, et inventus est justus.
Behold a great priest, who in his days pleased God, and has been found just.