The symbolism of former Toowoomba Bishop William Morris handing over the reins of the diocese to his successor Bishop Robert McGuckin yesterday was not lost on many of the 1500-strong congregation which packed St Patrick's Cathedral, reports the Toowoomba Chronicle.
After more than a year without a leader, the Toowoomba Diocese again has a bishop after the ordination of Bishop McGuckin, Toowoomba's sixth bishop.
However, it was at the request of the incoming bishop that his predecessor play a role in one of the more significant parts of the ordination ceremony.
"I wanted Bishop Morris involved (in the ceremony). He's been bishop of the diocese for many years," Bishop McGuckin said after his ordination. "He's a wonderful man.
"I particularly wanted him involved in the handing over of the crozier (Bishop's staff) and walking me to the cathedra (Bishop's chair)."
As the official part of the two-hour service drew to a close, Bishop McGuckin addressed his diocese for the first time as its new shepherd.
The congregation burst into prolonged applause when he thanked Bishop Morris for his years of service to the diocese and his help more recently in helping Bishop McGuckin settle into his new role.
Bishop Morris told The Chronicle he was "very touched" by the applause from the congregation.
FULL STORY New era begins for Toowoomba Diocese (Toowoomba Chronicle)
HOMILY BY ARCHBISHOP COLERIDGE