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Regional bishops visit Pope Francis and reflect on their travels and meeting the Holy Father

Joyous meeting: Bishop Tim Harris meets Pope Francis in the Vatican as part of the Ad Limina visit.

AUSTRALIAN bishops recently met with Pope Francis at the Vatican as part of their Ad Limina visit, including handing over an Akubra hat as a gift. 

“(It was) a truly wonderful meeting with Pope Francis today,” Townsville Bishop Tim Harris said on Twitter on June 24. 

“The Pope was listening and we listened to him. 

“I think he looks good in the hat,” he added.

Rockhampton Bishop Michael McCarthy was one of many bishops who took the chance to communicate with his diocese over social media.

“I’m at St Peter’s (Basilica) and this morning at Mass I prayed for you all – the Diocese of Rockhampton and all my family and friends,” Bishop McCarthy said in a video shortly before he met with the Pope.

“We gathered with the bishops of Australia and at the tomb of St Peter we prayed the Apostles’ Creed. 

“I remembered all of you there and brought your thoughts and your prayers with me this morning.”

Bishop Harris also posted a video online at the end of the first week before meeting the Pope.

“We’ve had an extraordinary time, prayerfully reflecting with one another, on all sorts of things – Church, the people of God, issues pertaining to the world,” he said.

“It’s been a wonderful time of celebrating communion with one another. 

“As I say that, I’ve had lots of opportunities to pray and I wanted to send my sincere best wishes to all of you in the Diocese of Townsville.” 

Bishop Harris also had the chance to catch up with a number of Aussies in Rome during the trip, including Fr Kevin Smith and Fr Anthony Mellor, from the Holy Spirit Seminary, Banyo.

Toowoomba Bishop Robert McGuckin also posted a video, touching base with his diocese.

“At this time I certainly will be praying for and remembering all the people of the Diocese of Toowoomba,” he said.

“It really is a special time.

“I bring blessings and good wishes from the people of Toowoomba to Pope Francis as he endeavours to fulfil his role of Peter and successor of Peter.”

Bishop McGuckin asked for prayers from his diocese too while hen was there on the special visit.

“It is a very special time and I’ll be remembering you all in my Masses this week,” he said.

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