By Emilie Ng
ROCKHAMPTON diocese welcomed a former Brisbane priest as its 10th bishop at an episcopal ordination Mass at St Joseph’s Cathedral on Thursday, May 29.
Bishop Michael McCarthy was ordained a bishop by Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge as family, close friends and Catholics from throughout Brisbane, Rockhampton and parts of Australia watched on.
Apostolic nuncio Archbishop Paul Gallagher and Rockhampton emeritus Bishop Brian Heenan were among the co-ordaining bishops, eight of whom were from Queensland.
Bishop Lucius Ugorji of Umuahia, Nigeria, who has been visiting the Nigerian priests now serving in Brisbane, was also one of the co-ordaining bishops.
Pope Francis appointed Bishop McCarthy as the new shepherd for Rockhampton in March, for him to succeed Bishop Heenan.
The news was a surprise for many in Brisbane and Australia, especially for Bishop McCarthy who said it was “very humbling” that the Holy Father appointed him.
In his first address as Bishop of Rockhampton, Bishop McCarthy invited the congregation to pray with him to the Holy Spirit for guidance in his new ministry.
“First I’d ask you to pray for me, and ask your blessing upon my ministry as Bishop of Rockhampton,” he said.
Archbishop Coleridge shared pastoral wisdom about being a bishop, and said at times “much of what a bishop does is ordinary”.
But he said that amidst the ordinary tasks, a bishop “has to be a man who again and again discovers the extraordinary at the heart of the ordinary and who therefore can say, ‘It is the Lord’”.