News

Sydney Archdiocese Welcomes Two New Bishops With Joy

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
25 Aug 2016

St Mary's Cathedral was filled to capacity on Wednesday evening for the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Tony Randazzo and Bishop Richard Umbers, the two new Auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese of Sydney.  They will join Bishop Terry Brady as the three Auxiliary Bishops serving the Archdiocese.

The Archbishop of Sydney, Most Reverend Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, was the principal celebrant for the Ordination Mass, which was concelebrated by 30 Bishops and more than 100 Priests, some of whom had travelled from interstate and overseas to be present at the Mass and expressed his joy at the appointments.

"This is a night of great rejoicing for our Archdiocese!" said Archbishop Fisher as he welcomed the congregation.

Many friends and family of the new Bishops attended the Mass, including Bishop Randazzo's parents, Colin and Caterina, Bishop Randazzo's siblings, Bishop Umbers' uncle Father Robert Lee and a number of his cousins.  Bishop Umbers' mother was watching the Ordination via the live stream, and Archbishop Fisher greeted her specifically at the beginning of the Mass.

They were joined by civic leaders, including Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Minister for International Development and the Pacific, representing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Senator Jacinta Collins, representing Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, other Federal and State MPs and representatives of other Churches, as well as hundreds of lay faithful from the Archdiocese of Sydney who braved the rain to participate in the Mass.

Archbishop Fisher was the principal consecrator for the Ordination, with Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane and Bishop Stephen Lee Bun-Sang of Macau as principal co-consecrators. 

In his homily, Archbishop Fisher reminded the Bishops and those gathered that it was only because he was first a Christian, a Deacon and a Priest that a man could be called to be a Bishop.

"The first vestment worn by Bishops is the alb, the white garment put on us all when we are baptised.  The Bishop wears an alb closest to his skin because he is first and foremost a Christian, washed clean by Baptism, clothed with Catholic faith, and called to share that faith - and hope and love - with all the world. Over this, on some occasions, the Bishop wears a dalmatic, because he is second of all a Deacon, a servant of the Word, the altar and the poor.  On top of that, if he is celebrating Mass, a chasuble, because he is third of all a Priest, one who preaches the Gospel, administers the Sacraments and exercises servant-leadership," he said.

Archbishop Fisher then went on to explain some of the specific items which would be presented to the Bishops during the Ordination.

The "flame-shaped" mitre worn on a Bishop's head showed that it was from the Holy Spirit which the Bishop must draw his inspiration, the ring professed the "undying love of the Bridegroom of the Church" and the crosier - a shepherd's crook - was a reminder that a Bishop was "an agent of the one Good Shepherd."  Finally, the pectoral cross worn close to a heart of a Bishop showed that he must be conformed to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Archbishop Fisher listed a number of challenges facing the world today and expressed confidence that the new Bishops would answer the cry of the human heart for wise voices and inspired leaders by offering much-needed witness to holiness, courage and mercy.  He spoke of them as "prayerful and energetic men, intelligent and gifted, with great vision and humour, heads focussed on the new evangelisation and deeply pastoral hearts."

After the homily, each of the Bishops-elect made promises to uphold the faith and discharge the duty of a Bishop.  This was followed by the Litany of Supplication, invoking the prayers of the Saints for the Bishops-elect, the laying on of hands by Archbishop Fisher and all of the other Bishops present, and the prayer of Ordination.  Archbishop Fisher anointed the head of the newly-ordained Bishops, presenting them with their mitre, the book of the Gospels, their ring and crosier before exchanging a fraternal kiss with each Bishop.

At the conclusion of the Mass, Bishop Randazzo offered words of thanks on behalf of himself and Bishop Umbers.  He thanked the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana and asked him to pass on sentiments of esteem and filial expression to Pope Francis, reassuring him of the faithfulness of the Archdiocese of Sydney to the mission of the Church.  He expressed gratitude to Archbishop Fisher for his prayerful support and tender fraternal care for them, which he said was only outdone by his patience, courage and hope in God during his physical sufferings.  He also thanked the community for their prayers.

The Bishops then proceeded through the congregation to offer their blessing to those gathered. A reception in the College Hall followed the Mass, giving the Bishops an opportunity to greet the people of the Archdiocese of Sydney.
Bishop Randazzo has chosen fiat voluntas tua (Your will be done) for his Episcopal motto, while Bishop Umbers has chosen fides et ratio (faith and reason).

Archbishop Fisher's full homily can be found here, and you can view the ceremony below.