(and about time too!)
I was thinking on Tuesday as I rode home from the Christian Motorcyclists Association National Run through Gippsland, that my one-time travelling colleague Fr Peter Slater is still the current Apostolic Administrator of the Sale Diocese – and has been since Bishop Prowse was appointed to Canberra-Goulburn more than a year ago. That led me to think that Melbourne has been short a couple of Auxiliary Bishops for quite some time also, and appointments were quite overdue.
But it seems that the Australian file is open on the desk of the Holy Father again, and Melbourne is gearing up for another double Episcopal Ordination on Wednesday 17th December.
Here is the Archbishop’s announcement from tonight:
With joy I advise you that Pope Francis, with his care for us, has appointed two Auxiliary Bishops for Melbourne.
- Monsignor Terry Curtin, STD, EV, PP, – Greythorn (Titular Bishop of Cabarsussi)
- Father Mark Edwards, OMI, PhD, – Rector, Iona College, Brisbane (Titular Bishop of Garba [in Numidia])
Monsignor Curtin is well known to us as an educator and pastor and for his great work as
Episcopal Vicar in the Eastern Region. With his abilities he will begin work in the Northern Region from Moonee Ponds from 14th January 2015.
Father Edwards grew up here in Glen Waverley parish and attended Mazenod College, where he later taught. With the Oblates, he has been teacher and formator. His abilities with people and families will be most welcome in Melbourne. He will work in the Eastern Region where he will reside.
The Episcopal Ordination will be in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on Wednesday, 17th December at 7.30 p.m. All, priest and people, are most welcome.
ANNOUNCEMENT & PRAYERS
You are asked to announce the appointment in your parish, to invite all your people to pray for these two great priests, and to welcome them as bishops.
Yours sincerely in Christ.
+ Denis J. Hart
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.
I am very glad of Mons. Curtin’s appointment. I am somewhat embarrassed that as I discussed the upcoming appointments at work today, I did not include him on my list of “suspects”. This is especially because I recently saw Mons. Curtin in action in his role as Episcopal Vicar for the Eastern Region at a parish confirmation, and actually thought to myself that they should just make this bloke an auxiliary bishop. Two things I really like about Bishop-Elect Curtin: He is a very good theologian and he is sincerely concerned for the pastoral care of priests.
As for Fr Edwards, I am afraid I have nothing to say at all. I don’t know him from Adam. But I am informed that he was recruited for Catholic Theological College by Fr Austin Cooper, which is something of a recommendation in itself! He too appears to be a theologian (locally trained), but also concerned for the pastoral formation of seminarians. We should note the pattern, however: here is yet another appointment to the Australian Episcopate from a religious order. This seems to be something of an emerging pattern. I can congratulate myself at least for saying to my colleagues this afternoon that it would be likely that a religious would be among the appointments – but that that would mean quite a wide open field. Nevertheless, one young priest I spoke to actually named Fr Edwards as a distinct possibility, so his fame must be substantial.
So, thank you, Pope Francis. I hope that both these men will live up to what you expect from bishops in the 21st Century Church: Faithful teachers, wise pastors, and committed evangelists.