St Mary’s Cathedral in Perth was teeming with life on Monday night as the city's Catholic community celebrated 100 years as an Archdiocese, reports The Record.
The date could not have been more fitting, falling on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the feast after which St Mary’s, formally known as the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, takes its name.
In the presence of Pope Francis’ representative, the Papal Nuncio to Australia Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB led a capacity congregation in a prayer of rededication of the Cathedral and the whole Archdiocese to the care, protection and prayer of Mary.
'With this act of solemn dedication or consecration, I, as the Archbishop, want to give expression to a fundamental conviction of our Catholic faith,' the Archbishop said during his homily of the consecration which followed Eucharist.
'At a time when the Church throughout the world, and therefore also here in our Archdiocese, is in great need of help as we face many difficult challenges, we need to turn to (Mary) again, rely on the power of her prayers, and entrust ourselves to her care and protection.'
The Papal Nuncio Archbishop Gallagher spoke briefly before the close of proceedings, assuring the people of Perth of the Pope’s good wishes: 'It is my honour and pleasure to represent Pope Francis here this evening, to speak to you in his name and to assure you of his love and support and his prayers at this time.'
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB presides over a province that embraces the dioceses of Geraldton, Bunbury and Broome.
The Archdiocese of Perth was inaugurated on August 28, 1913, after its fourth bishop and first Archbishop, Patrick Clune, proposed the diocese’s elevation due to its size and the fact that the Anglicans were considering creating a province of their own, which, if done first, would give their Archbishop precedence.