26 May 2020

Moving celebration for Adelaide's new shepherd

The Southern Cross  |  May 25 2020

Moving celebration for  Adelaide's new shepherd

Adelaide’s new Archbishop Patrick O’Regan was installed in a near empty St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral today but the occasion was full of beauty, grace and emotion as the former Bishop of Sale and priest of Bathurst committed himself to his new flock.

The two-hour service was live streamed to more than 6000 people and watched by thousands more on demand and on community television.

While saddened that not as many people as possible could be there in person because of the coronavirus pandemic, Archbishop O’Regan said he was pleased that “this virtual alternative” gave people a chance to share in the ceremony in some small way.

“You can see us, but we can’t see you,” he said with a smile.

After a smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country, Archbishop-designate knocked on the Cathedral doors and was received by Apostolic Administrator Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ. Bishop O’Kelly read the Bull of Appointment in which Pope Francis said Archbishop Regan was “endowed with exemplary conduct” in his apostolic work with the Diocese of Sale.

In his first homily as Archbishop of Adelaide, Archbishop O’Regan made several references to the COVID-19 pandemic, comparing it to the chaos of the first Easter.

He also referred to a ‘message’ from God that he’d received since moving to Adelaide.

“Yesterday afternoon I decided to go for a walk to clear my mind,” he said. “I noticed a new piece of concrete in the footpath and someone in that inimitable Australian style had simply written into the fresh concrete the words ‘we can do this’.

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