LISMORE diocese is united in prayer for its new bishop Carmelite Father Gregory Homeming in the lead-up to his episcopal ordination on February 22.
Pope Francis appointed Fr Homeming as the sixth Bishop of Lismore and accepted the resignation of Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett on December 20.
Fr Homeming’s episcopal ordination will be held in St Carthage’s Cathedral, Lismore, at 7pm on February 22.
Bishop Jarrett, who has been Bishop of Lismore for the past 15 years, will continue as apostolic administrator until then.
Fr Homeming, 58, is regional vicar of the Discalced Carmelite Friars in Sydney.
“I am humbled by the news,” he said when his appointment to Lismore was announced.
“I knew that I had to say yes after the past 31 years as a friar.
“There is a lot that I have to learn. I hope that the people and the priests of the Diocese of Lismore will teach me how to be their bishop.”
Fr Homeming said he had travelled to Lismore diocese many times as superior of the Discalced Carmelites visiting the Carmelite nuns at Goonellabah.
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Denis Hart said he joined the bishops of Australia “in rejoicing at the appointment of Fr Homeming as Bishop of Lismore”.
“He brings wide experience as a retreat-giver, spiritual director and leader,” Archbishop Hart said.
“His gifts will be a great enrichment to the Church in Australia.”
Bishop Jarrett said the clergy of the diocese “will remember (Fr Homeming) for the masterly retreat he gave us at Dorrigo in 2014”.
“I am sure that you will keep the bishop-elect in your prayers during the time ahead as he prepares for the ministry of a successor of the Apostles and chief shepherd of our diocese which is now entrusted to him, and for his move to Lismore in the early months of the New Year,” Bishop Jarrett said in a message to the clergy, religious and faithful of the diocese.
“In faith, and hope, and love we prepare our welcome.”
Parishes of the diocese have been asked to pray a special prayer in the lead-up to Fr Homeming’s episcopal ordination: “For Gregory, our bishop-elect, as he prepares to take up the sacred office of Bishop of the Church of Lismore. As our chief shepherd in the line of the Apostles, may he govern your people in love, and inspire and strengthen them in the faith, and in their lives of Christian witness.”
Born in Sydney on May 30, 1958, to an Australian Chinese family, Fr Homeming took degrees in Economics and Law at Sydney University and then worked as a lawyer in a Sydney law firm from 1981 to 1985.
He joined the Discalced Carmelite order at the end of 1985 and made his first profession in 1987.
He then studied for a Bachelor of Theology at Melbourne College of Divinity and for a Masters in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne.
Fr Homeming was ordained in 1991, and as a Carmelite has served as a major superior, novice master, prior and retreat director.
In addition to his love of spiritual direction and retreat formation, Fr Homeming enjoys reading, classical music, art and cooking Chinese meals for the friars.