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elect, in a gesture of humility and surrender,
prostrated himself while the assembly invoked
the prayers and support of the Communion
of Saints. The Communion of Saints is a
traditional term for the fellowship between the
living and the dead.
The ceremony was rich with symbolism. After
Cardinal Pell, then each of the bishops, had
laid hands on Bishop-elect Bill's head, the
prayer of consecration was prayed while
the book of the gospels was held over him.
Once he was presented with the Book of the
Gospels, the ring, the mitre and the pastoral
staff, the people acclaimed him and the
cathedral bells were joyfully rung.
As Bishop Bill says on page 4, "soon I will be
ordained as bishop in a magnificent ceremony
in Sacred Heart Cathedral.... fine music and
elaborate ceremony... stir[s] the souls of many,
I know, and the big occasions really do need
the big liturgy". The Episcopal ordination was
indeed, "big liturgy", with representatives of
many groups participating: Bishop Bill's family
and friends, some 25 bishops and 70 clergy,
parishioners, school students and teachers,
members of religious orders, diocesan staff
and members of various diocesan groups,
civic leaders and representatives of other
Responding to the welcome extended by
Anglican Bishop Brian Farran and Lord Mayor
of Newcastle Councillor John Tate, Bishop Bill
betrayed both his passion for history and his
willingness to embrace modern technology.
He cited Irish Bishop Patrick Francis Moran
arriving in Sydney in 1884 and instantly
proclaiming himself an Australian, saying that
he could not be instantly 'at home' here, but "I
look forward to getting to know the whole place
better, and I hope to learn from the people,
from the communities, from the creatures,
from the land."
Bishop Bill's sister Patricia and other family
members participated in the liturgy, but his
brother Robert was unable to travel from New
York. "We're streaming live around the world!
Hello Rob!" said the newly ordained bishop.
When Bishop Bill acknowledged his
predecessor, now Bishop Emeritus Michael
Malone, there was sustained applause,
indicating the esteem in which Bishop Michael
Concluding before he imagined the people
beginning to think "Will he never be quiet?",
Bishop Bill blessed the congregation and left
the cathedral to mingle informally with his
As he looks forward to getting to know us, we
return the favour.
Please email email@example.com
or phone Sarah on 4979 1111 to express
interest in purchasing the DVD of Bishop
Bill's ordination for $10.
Bishop Bill is greeted
by Bishop Peter
Ingham of Wollongong.
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