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Bishop Michael Kennedy celebrates one year in Maitland-Newcastle Diocese (MNnews.Today)

March 17 will mark one year since Bishop Michael Kennedy was installed as the ninth Bishop of the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese. Source: MNnews.Today.

During that time he’s travelled to every corner of the diocese to hear from the people he now leads.

Having moved to Newcastle from Armidale, one big adjustment has been trading walks in the bush for walks on the beach, but Bishop Kennedy’s main priority has been visiting as many diocesan parishes, schools, communities, and workplaces as he could.

“It’s a great privilege to lead the community in its prayer and to play a role in helping people feel a bit more touched by God in their life,” he said.

“It’s when I go home after those days that I really feel I’ve done what God’s called me to do.”

Like any big move or new job, Bishop Kennedy said he has faced normal challenges during his time here, however, he has also learned valuable lessons regarding trust.

“It’s taught me to trust more, both in God and other people. I have to let go more often now than I have in the past, both before being a priest and a bishop,” he said.

The theme of trust has underpinned the diocese’s most significant milestones over the past 12 months. These include a review of religious education and spirituality in diocesan schools and pastoral ministries and an independent safeguarding audit.

While he has a strong vision for the future, Bishop Kennedy acknowledges the Diocese has been through difficult times. The sexual abuse crisis, the impact of COVID and modern societal views on religion, have all taken a toll.

“Bishop Bill [Wright], before me, guided and pastored the people of this diocese brilliantly through those challenging years. I think the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle is a Church that’s been humbled. And that’s not a bad thing,” he said.

“The things that brought about the humbling are bad, and some of them evil. But to be humbled is not bad. We’re going into the future and we’re coming from a place of humility, and that is an excellent starting point.”


One year on (By Madie Leeming, MNnews.Today)