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Bishop's Ad Limina visit
Dear Friends in Christ,
On 26th June, it will be ten years since I was ordained Bishop of Bathurst. I look back on this time with gratitude to God and to all of you who have walked with me on our common pilgrimage.
I will mark the anniversary this year in Rome, where Pope Francis has called the Australian bishops for our visit “Ad Limina Apostolorum” (“to the threshold of the Apostles”). These gatherings take place usually every five years, though it will now be actually seven since our last one.
The Catholic Church is fully present in each diocese with the essential ingredient of communion with the Bishop of Rome, successor of St Peter. At the heart of each bishop’s ministry is the guarantee of that communion between the particular church he pastors and the universal Church. The ad limina visit is a tangible expression and practical exercise of that communion.
In addition to meeting with Pope Francis, we also meet with his collaborators in the various departments of the Holy See; and offer the customary Masses at the tombs of the Apostles. We shall make a retreat, too, in preparation for next year’s Plenary Council.
On 26th June this year, we are to celebrate Mass at the Basilica of St Paul’s Outside the Walls, where the remains of the Apostle Paul await the Resurrection. On that day, I will ask the Lord for the grace of renewal in my ministry; and bring to the altar the prayers of God’s People of the Diocese of Bathurst. Please pray for me.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop of Bathurst