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Bishop asks for prayers at start of his ministry in Rockhampton diocese

Bishop ordained: Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, and Bishop Brian Heenan during the ordination of Bishop Michael McCarthy.

Bishop ordained: Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, and Bishop Brian Heenan during the ordination of Bishop Michael McCarthy.

By Emilie Ng

ROCKHAMPTON diocese’s 10th bishop stepped out of St Joseph’s Cathedral feeling “absolutely terrific” after a tremendous welcome into his new diocese on May 29.

Minutes after his ordination, Bishop McCarthy said he already felt “very much part of the Rockhampton diocese”.

“It was a lovely celebration,” he said.

“It’s great to be part of a new diocese.”

Rockhampton’s diocesan administrator Fr John Grace said Bishop McCarthy’s acceptance of Pope Francis’ invitation to be the diocese’s new bishop was “good news for the faithful”.

During the ordination, Bishop McCarthy knelt before the Australian bishops, his face glowing as they laid their hands on him, their newest brother bishop.

After Archbishop Mark Coleridge handed the Book of Gospels, an episcopal ring, mitre and crozier to Bishop McCarthy, the new bishop warmly embraced his fellow Australian bishops.

Hundreds packed into the cathedral to witness Australia’s newest bishop embrace his role as Rockhampton’s shepherd.

“It is good to stand before you today and say, ‘Michael, your Bishop’,” Bishop McCarthy said in his first address as Bishop of Rockhampton.

“First I’d ask you to pray for me, and ask your blessing upon my ministry as the Bishop of Rockhampton.”

Bishop McCarthy chose a well-known prayer to the Holy Spirit as his official episcopal intercessory prayer.

“We ask the Holy Spirit to be with us in these days,” he said.

Among the guests praying for the new bishop were Anthony and Millie Coorey and their five children, William, Charlotte, Grace, Amelia and George, who are parishioners in Dutton Park, Brisbane.

Mr Coorey was only eight years old when he first met Bishop McCarthy in the 1970s, when Bishop McCarthy was a priest in Surfers Paradise.

They have since remained close friends and have shared many family dinners.

Bishop McCarthy gave the family a great gift when in 1998, while parish administrator of Wavell Heights, he joined the couple in holy matrimony.

Bishop McCarthy also baptised all the Coorey children.

Mrs Coorey said Bishop McCarthy had been a wonderful gift to the family and also to their marriage.

“Bishop McCarthy gave us the best words of advice,” she said.

“He said to us, ‘Marriage isn’t easy, and you have to commit yourself every day’.”

Mrs Coorey said the episcopal ordination was “a very emotional day” for her.

“He’s an absolutely beautiful man,” she said.

Bishop McCarthy will spend his first week in Rockhampton and Yeppoon and plans to visit all areas of the diocese over the next three months.

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