SALE’S ninth bishop Patrick O’Regan has reacted with “surprise, excitement, humility and sadness” to news of his appointment by Pope Francis.
Bishop-elect O’Regan is the Vicar General and cean of the Cathedral in the Diocese of Bathurst.
The Diocese of Sale has been awaiting a bishop since Bishop Christopher Prowse was elevated to Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn on September 12, 2013.
“In responding to Pope Francis’ choice, I see the hand of God somehow in all of this, as the God of surprises,” the 56-year-old priest said.
“I feel a real blend of surprise, excitement, numbness, humility and sadness.
“Surprise at being chosen, excitement at being able to be a source of unity and hope to the People of God in the Diocese of Sale, still numb from having one’s world turned upside down, a very Advent-ish, John the Baptist thing to do.
“I feel humility as the path of service opens up more deeply before me and sadness that after 31 years of working in, and 56 years of being part of, the Diocese of Bathurst.”
News of the appointment came as the diocese mourned the death of Bishop Jeremiah Coffey, Sale diocese’s seventh bishop.
“May he rest in peace and may the good God continue to bless the Diocese of Sale,” the bishop-elect said.
Bishop-elect O’Regan was educated at Saint Joseph’s Primary School, Perthville and Saint Stanislaus’ College, Bathurst.
Studying for the priesthood at St Columba College, Springwood and St Patrick’s College, Manly, he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Bathurst on September 2,1983.
In 1994, the bishop-elect completed higher studies in France, obtaining a Licentiate in Liturgy and Sacramental Theology from the Institut Catholique, Paris.
The Bathurst native is a member of the National Liturgical Council and diocesan co-ordinator for the ongoing formation of priests and permanent deacons.
He has also taught at the Catholic Institute of Sydney and at Charles Stuart University, Bathurst.