07 May 2020
Thank you Bishop O'Kelly
The Southern Cross | May 1 2020
As the Archdiocese prepares to welcome its new leader, Archbishop-designate Patrick O’Regan, we pay tribute to Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ for his tireless efforts in the role of Apostolic Administrator for the past two years while also remaining Bishop of the Diocese of Port Pirie.
Bishop O’Kelly has contributed to the Archdiocese of Adelaide and its people over a long period. A student at St Ignatius’ College Norwood and ordained a Jesuit priest in 1972, he returned to Adelaide on two occasions as headmaster of his former school and also served as chair of the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools.
In 2006 he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Adelaide and in 2009 was installed as Bishop of Port Pirie. In June 2018 he was appointed by Pope Francis as the Apostolic Administrator of the Adelaide Archdiocese in addition to his other episcopal duties.
Messages of thanks from local Church representatives are provided below:
For once I feel lost for the words. I need to express my immense gratitude to Bishop O’Kelly both personally and on behalf of our Archdiocese, for his extraordinary grace and generosity through the period of his leadership as Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Adelaide. Bishop O’Kelly came to us in the midst of most challenging times and entered our lives and our diocesan story with grace, humour and all the outstanding ability which has marked every other phase of his remarkable life. Bishop O’Kelly has offered total generosity in his care for us, while continuing to exercise his leadership in the Diocese of Port Pirie. His tireless commitment to be present in Adelaide as often as possible, his leadership in the areas of our faith, our community life and our administrative demands has been remarkable. On personal level, Bishop O’Kelly has been a colleague, a companion and a friend over this last year and I shall miss his presence in our city and in our local Church. I share what I imagine is a universal sadness as we farewell Bishop O’Kelly from his role amongst us, but am grateful for the opportunity that he will now have to return to his Diocese of Port Pirie and to care for that community with a single focus. With all of us I express gratitude and the promise of our ongoing prayers and best wishes for a blessed, happy and healthy future.
– Fr Philip Marshall, Administrator Delegate
Bishop O’Kelly has guided, supported and inspired priests, religious and laity alike during these past 24 months which have been most difficult times for our Church. A delightful sense of humour, a wonderful preacher and communicator and a warm and caring friend and colleague are all hallmarks of this exceptional Church leader whom we have been privileged to have amongst us in South Australia. Thank you Bishop Greg for your generosity and kindness to all who have worked with you during the time you have been our Apostolic Administrator. With every blessing for your future which we trust will include a long healthy and joyful retirement.
– Greg Crafter, chair of the Diocesan Finance Council
During one of the most difficult times in Archdiocesan history, Bishop O’Kelly was asked to support and lead all those involved in the life of the Archdiocese. No-one but Bishop Greg will know what that was like for him, to be responsible for two dioceses along with the personal miles, mountains and moments that went between. For me personally, it was an experience of witnessing Church and leadership at its most raw and beautiful self. It was a time of feeling stretched, but we were sustained through the kindness, holiness, graciousness and compassionate presence of Bishop O’Kelly. Thank you for the support and example you were to us all. – Pauline Connelly, deputy director, Centacare Catholic Family Services, Chancellor of the Adelaide Archdiocese
It has been a privilege to work so closely with Bishop O’Kelly over the past two years. I have admired his incredible commitment to Catholic education across both dioceses and his capacity to manage so many competing priorities. I have appreciated his advice and wisdom; his intellect and wonderful grasp of the written word; his deep care and compassion for all children, staff and families; and his generosity and sense of humour. I thank him for his leadership and gentle manner, and I look forward to his continued involvement on the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools.
– Neil McGoran, director of Catholic Education SA
Thank you Bishop O’Kelly for your tireless leadership as our Apostolic Administrator. We have really appreciated your presence, sense of humour, love of language and being your reflective self.
– Sarah Moffatt, acting chancellor of the Adelaide Archdiocese