Mourners paid their respects yesterday to former Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright, who was farewelled at a Funeral Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Hamilton. Source: Newcastle Weekly.
While COVID-19 regulations meant capacity was limited to 200 people and, as per the bishop’s request, this included a large contingent of students and parishioners from across the diocese. In addition, many more viewed the Mass through an online streaming platform.
Bishop Wright died in Maitland Hospital on November 13, having succumbed to lung cancer at the age of 69.
Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP celebrated the Mass, joined by conjoint celebrants Melbourne Archbishop Peter A Comensoli, Wollongong Bishop Brian Mascord and Bathurst Bishop Michael McKenna.
Music and scripture selected for the ceremony were the same as those Bishop Wright chose for his episcopal ordination, which also took place at Sacred Heart Cathedral, in June 2011.
Archbishop Fisher said Bishop Wright was remembered as a "warm, considered and deeply faithful man with a wry wit” who had a "great capacity for sitting patiently with people, especially down-and-outs".
Bishop Mascord, who served alongside Bishop Wright in Maitland-Newcastle Diocese as Vicar General from 2013-2017, delivered the homily. It intertwined reflections on the Gospel readings with personal recounts of their friendship, which spanned 35 years.
Following the Funeral Mass and onsite wake, the cortege travelled from Newcastle to St John’s Oratory in Maitland, where it was met by a guard of honour formed by 200 students from All Saints College and St John’s Primary School.
Thousands farewell beloved Bishop Bill Wright (By Rod Thompson, Newcastle Weekly)