THERE are two outstanding characters, beside Jesus and Mary, that figure largely in the life, journey and spirituality of Bishop-elect Anthony Randazzo – St Paul and St Francis Xavier.
Both of these saints were men who were on fire with the Mission for and of Jesus Christ and His Church.
Bishop-elect Randazzo often said to the seminarians when he was rector of Holy Spirit Seminary Queensland, that “the seminarian must become a disciple who seeks to live the spirit of the Gospel and to ardently develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ”.
Both St Paul and St Francis Xavier were men too who developed this spirit of the Gospel and a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Both Paul and Francis were missionary men who were pilgrims in their proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus who gave their all.
In fact the episcopal motto that Bishop-elect Randazzo has chosen is “fiat voluntas tua” – Your will be done – referring to his life for Christ.
Bishop Randazzo is a man who has been and will be ardent for Christ and the Mission.
At the priestly ordination of myself and Anthony Randazzo on November 29, 1991, the then Archbishop of Brisbane Francis Rush opened his homily by preaching on the words of St Paul – “During my stay with you, the only knowledge I claim to have is about Jesus, and only about Him as the crucified Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:2)
“It was presumption as if I (Archbishop Rush) knew very much about Christ and Him crucified.
“Such knowledge will always be imperfect this side of the grave.
“And yet the search for an ever deeper understanding of Christ crucified is life’s great adventure.
“We priests, even more than others, have to understand that it is only through carrying our Cross with Christ that we shall share in His Triumph over sin and death.”
St Paul often preached about the wounds of Christ he carried and the hagiographical symbol of St Francis Xavier is a cross held high.
The cross has and will always feature in the life of Bishop-elect Randazzo.
Again Archbishop Rush continued in his homily, “To say so is not to join the over-filled ranks of the prophets of doom but to be realists who exult in the hope given us by Christ who triumphed through His Cross”.
This Cross has always been part of the priestly adventure-pilgrimage of Bishop-elect Randazzo.
Along with a deep prayer life, ever developing study of the Church and scripture, a fascination with historical developments both in the Church and the world, and a love of the arts all focused on Him, Jesus Christ, who is our life and hope.
By Fr Morgan Batt
Fr Morgan Batt is a priest of the Archdiocese of Brisbane and the directer of Vocation Brisbane.