Welcome back to the Bishop’s Blog – on a new platform for 2014!
When a new bishop officially ‘takes possession’ of his diocese it is invariably a moment of joy and hope, with the sense of a new beginning for the people and clergy of the diocese in question. Such a happy occasion took place last Thursday evening in St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Dundee with the installation of Bishop Stephen Robson as the 9th Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Dunkeld, Scotland.
A full cathedral witnessed Bishop Vincent Logan, Bishop Stephen’s predecessor, hand over the diocesan crozier at the beginning of the Mass of Installation, which was preceded by the reading of the Bull of Appointment signed by Pope Francis.
The presence of Archbishop Mennini, the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, underlined the real personal bond between Bishop Robson and Pope Francis, successor of St. Peter.
This communion of the bishops of the universal Church with the Bishop of Rome symbolises the unity of Catholics as the flock of Christ, entrusted to the care of Peter and the Apostles.
I attended Bishop Robson’s Mass of Installation not only as a brother bishop, but with a sense of pride and for the very special reason that he born in Carlisle, part of the diocese of Lancaster. It was pleasing to reflect that something of the new bishop’s strong Catholic faith is due to his Cumbrian background!
The arrival of a new bishop to a diocese and the ceremony of Installation is both deeply moving and a powerful ecclesial moment, which perhaps can only fully be grasped in the light of faith.
The bishop is the focus of unity for the clergy and faithful of a diocese, and his presence is a guarantee of the apostolic foundation of the faith of the diocese in question. He is ultimately responsible for the transmission of the Catholic faith in all its integrity, and his ministry or office is summed up with the three words ‘teaching’, ‘governing’ and ‘sanctifying’.
The enthusiasm and pleasure, in prolonged applause, with which the people and priests of Dunkeld welcomed Bishop Robson was recognition that the presence of their new bishop was a blessing from God. God had indeed visited his people!
After a period of waiting they once more had a Shepherd who would care for them, and lead them in the ways of Christ, the Good Shepherd himself. Our prayers and thoughts go from the diocese of Lancaster to Bishop Stephen as he begins his ministry of bishop in Dunkeld. May the Lord richly bless him and the faithful people in his care!
Until next week’s post – may God bless you all,
+Michael Campbell OSA
Bishop of Lancaster
(Dunkeld Photos – kindness of Eddie Mahoney)