Wednesday, May 02, 2007

New Auxiliary in Melbourne

It is quite a business preparing for ordination. Apart from the canonical requirements there are also lots of practical ones such as who will vest you? Where will the first Mass be? Who will preach at that Mass?
I was ordained in 1989 in the Chapel of the John Fisher School in Purley. The next day I celebrated my first Mass in Folkestone where my old chemistry teacher was (and is) parish priest. The sermon was preached by Fr Peter Elliott (pictured) whom I had gotten to know very well when I was a student in Rome. It was an excellent sermon, engaging, humorous, rooted in the Catholic history of this country, and extolling the importance of the priestly vocation.
I was very pleased to hear on Monday the Mgr Peter Elliott, as he now is, has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to be one of two new auxiliary bishops in Melbourne. In an email today he tells me that he is to be Titular Bishop of Manaccenser (successor to the recently deceased Bishop James O'Brien of Westminster). Bishop O'Brien was a much loved bishop who served the people of Westminster for many years. Bishop elect Elliott is a great anglophile. I'm sure it is fitting that they should be linked in this way. I'm also sure that the bishop elect would be grateful for any prayers you can spare for him.

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