A priest who has served parishes in the Diocese of Lancaster for decades has been installed as its new bishop.
Bishop Paul Swarbrick, 59, was ordained at St Peter’s Cathedral, Lancaster, on Monday.
In his homily the outgoing Bishop Michael Campbell said Bishop Swarbrick must have been “disturbed” by the news of his appointment and, in the weeks since, had been “trying to come to terms with what Pope Francis was asking”.
But he said that, like Mary when faced with the angel Gabriel, Bishop Swarbrick was helped by the deep faith of those around him.
Bishop Campbell said: “Mgr Paul, the Catholic faith of Lancashire in which you were nurtured and brought up through the example of your parents and family, enhanced by the priests and parishioners of St Mary and St Michael’s, Garstang, as well as your subsequent pastoral ministry both at home and abroad, enable you today to step forward courageously in faith and be ordained as bishop.”
He said Bishop Swarbrick would have “many tasks and concerns” as bishop. “But remember,” he said, “that you will be ministering in faith to a people of faith. As their chief shepherd you will pass on what has come down to us from the Apostles.”
Bishop Swarbrick, formerly parish priest in Workington, Cumbria, told a local paper, Times and Star: “It does seem quite daunting and there are feelings of inadequacy but that leads to feelings of deeper trust that the Lord knows what He is doing even if I don’t.”
The diocese covers most of Lancashire and all of Cumbria up to the Scottish border.
Our Lady of Walsingham to tour cathedrals in England
The statue of Our Lady of Walsingham is to begin a two-year tour of England’s Catholic cathedrals.
The tour is intended to prepare Catholics for England’s rededication as the Dowry of Mary in 2020.
Each visit will take place between a Thursday and a Sunday and involve a three-day triduum of prayer.
The statue’s first visit will be to Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral in June. There will be talks on the Dowry of Mary, an evening of Adoration, and a day set aside for visits from primary and secondary schools. The full schedule so far is available to view at dowrytour.org.uk.
The term “Dowry of Mary” is thought to have originated in the 11th century. In 1350 a mendicant preacher remarked in a sermon that “it is commonly said that the land of England is the Virgin’s dowry”. The title means that England has been “set apart” for Mary. The country was first dedicated as the Dowry of Mary by Cardinal Bernard Griffin in 1948.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has called the rededication a “moment of great promise … for the Church in this country and for our mission”.
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