Bishop Michael Kennedy was installed as the ninth Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle in a liturgical reception at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hamilton, on Friday.
On the Solemnity of St Patrick, more than 550 guests, including Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Charles Balvo, Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, bishops from around Australia and representatives from every parish in the diocese gathered for the event.
Bishop Kennedy was greeted on his arrival for the ceremony at Sacred Heart Cathedral by Elders of the Awabakal nation and welcomed to country.
He was greeted at the main doors to Sacred Heart Cathedral by Fr John Lovell, Rector of the Cathedral, and presented with a crucifix to venerate. As part of the Rite of Installation, Archbishop Balvo read the Apostolic Letter of Appointment and Archbishop Fisher guided Bishop Michael to the cathedra.
Once formally seated in the cathedra, Bishop Kennedy was installed as the ninth Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle and welcomed by representatives of the people of the diocese including parishioners, families and clergy and then, in front of the altar, by representatives of other Churches, faiths and civic authorities.
“When the nuncio asked if I would accept Pope Francis’ appointment to be the new Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle, I did not hesitate to say ‘yes’,” Bishop Michael said in the March edition of Aurora magazine.
“It is an awesome privilege and responsibility. I accepted the role willingly and heartily knowing that like all new endeavours, it will hold both joys and challenges,” he said.
The Bishop’s motto is euntes docete,, referencing Jesus’ final words to the apostles to “go forth and teach”.