ANTHONY Randazzo is not the first Queenslander to go south as a bishop.
Edward Doody went across the border to Armidale in 1948 and in the same year Guilford Young went further to Canberra and Goulburn as auxiliary before he was appointed to Hobart in 1954.
They came from a land that had originally been part of the diocese of Sydney, but they went bearing the gifts of the new Churches that had given them birth.
The same is true of Anthony Randazzo.
He was born in Sydney but moved north before his first birthday.
So we claim him as a Queenslander and a son of the Archdiocese of Brisbane and even of that distinctive part of it that we call the Gold Coast.
He returns to the mother diocese as Auxiliary Bishop but he goes bearing the gifts which God has given the Archdiocese of Brisbane – gifts which I’ve come to see and appreciate more deeply in my years as Archbishop here.
Anthony goes to a Church and a city that he doesn’t know well, but he’s no stranger to other climes.
In earlier times he adjusted well to life in Rome when he studied and worked there. In those years he came to know the universal Church, and that will stand him in good stead as bishop.
As seminary rector, he came to know the Church around Australia, and that too will be a help to him.
I say this conscious that any bishop is involved on three levels – the local, the national and the international.
There is every reason to think that Anthony will contribute well on each of the three levels.
It takes time to learn the ropes as a bishop, no matter what you’ve done beforehand or how much you’ve worked with bishops and seen them at work.
But as he approaches 50, Anthony is still young by episcopal standards, so he has time on his side.
Being named and ordained bishop is the easy bit; the ministry that lies beyond ordination is harder, especially perhaps in a time like this when the Church in Australia and elsewhere is facing great challenges.
But if Anthony is not ready for those challenges now he never will be.
I am confident that his gifts, energies and experiences will equip him well for all that lies ahead.
He knows for sure that the prayers of all in the Archdiocese of Brisbane go with him as he heads south, like others before him, to undertake a new mission.
We will miss him – but we know that the Church is bigger than the diocese, the mission is bigger than the man.
By Archbishop Mark Coleridge