Bishop Pat Ordained
A congregation of around 1600 witnessed the ordination of the ninth Bishop of Sale, Patrick O’Regan, on Thursday 26th February 2015.
The Bishop Phelan Stadium at Catholic College Sale was transformed over three days to create a suitable venue for the ceremony. Nearby St. Mary’s Cathedral seats only 280 comfortably in the main body of the church and so it was decided to relocate the ceremony.
There was a strong representation of parishioners from the Diocese of Bathurst, where Bishop O’Regan was previously Vicar-General and Dean of the Cathedral.
Principal celebrant was Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne and co-consecrators were the Archbishop Christopher Prowse of Canberra and Goulburn - who is the previous Bishop of Sale and Bathurst's Bishop Michael McKenna - formerly a priest of the Diocese of Sale.
Thirty archbishops and bishops and more than 100 priests from around Australia gathered for the Mass. A 160 voice choir, drawn from colleges and parishes around the Diocese, led the worship under Shane Reid - Director of Music from Lavalla College in Traralgon.
Organists were principal organist from St Francis Church, Melbourne, Anthony Halliday, and Father Alois Balint from Offenburg , Germany.
Bishop O’Regan was assisted by Father Terrence Fournier who is the director of the National Liturgical Office for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and Father Garry McKeown, Parish Priest of Orange in the Diocese of Bathurst.
Monsignor John John Kallarackal from the Apostolic Nunciature in Canberra read the English translation of the Papal Bull appointing Bishop O’Regan and the Bull was then formally presented to the College of Consultors by Sale's Chancellor, Father Brian O’Connor. There was loud applause when he raised it to the congregation.
After the formal questioning by Archbishop Hart, Bishop O’Regan lay prostrate on the red carpet before the altar during the singing of the Litany of the Saints led by cantors Lynda George and Donrita Reefman. Then followed the consecration of the bishop with laying of hands by all gathered bishops and archbishops.
The open Book of Gospels was held over Bishop O'Regan's head by deacons Mark Kelly and Tony Aspinall while Archbishop Hart read the prayer of ordination. Following the anointing of Bishop O’Regan’s head with the Oil of Chrism and presentation of the Book of Gospels, the Bishop then received his ring of office from the Vechoorettu family from Cranbourne, his zucchetto and mitre from Sister Patricia Hickey sgs, and his crozier from Rita Elswyk, Diocesan Coordinator of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.
Bishop O’Regan was then led to the cathedra, or Bishop’s chair, which had been brought from St. Mary’s Cathedral for the ceremony. The newly ordained bishop then received a fraternal kiss from each of the archbishops and bishops, as well as the College of Consultors.
The Bishop’s siblings, Stephen O’Regan, Laurie O’Regan and Louise Clyne, accompanied by his godparents, Jill Clark and Peter Herbert, brought the gifts to the altar for the Offertory.
In the concluding rites after the Mass, Bishop O’Regan walked around the stadium blessing the crowd and received a formal welcome from the clergy, religious, representatives of Diocesan ministries, Catholic schools and ecumenical and civic representatives. More 1,000 people then joined together at Sale's Memorial Hall for lunch and light refreshments. When Bishop O’Regan arrived he spent more than an hour chatting with people and happily posed for photographs.
Information and photos courtesy of Colin Coomber
Catholic Media Gippsland