Sunday 26 April 2009

One last time

Regular visitors to the Cathedral Blog will be well used to seeing Bishop Patrick seated on the cathedra. This image, however, is unique: here the Bishop is seated on this symbol of his authority for the last time. Bishop Patrick yesterday presided over a liturgy in the Cathedral for what will be - barring any unexpected events - the final time.

The Bishop was celebrating Mass for Women Together in the Diocese of Lancaster, who had asked him to do so as a farewell before his retirement on Friday. The group also had lunch and held a meeting at the Cathedral in the afternoon.

Women came from across the Diocese for the celebration; a number of religious women were among those who attended.

At the end of Mass the group presented the Bishop with a spiritual bouquet of Masses and with a green stole. They thanked him for his work and support during his time in Lancaster.

Speaking at the cathedra for the last time, Bishop Patrick thanked Women Together for all they have done and wished them well for the future. He told the congregation that he had been "very happy" during his time in the Diocese.

And so, for the last time, the Bishop was given his mitre and crozier at the throne ready for the blessing. His retirement will be marked by the whole Diocese on Friday (please note: access to this Mass is strictly by ticket only), when Bishop Michael will be the principal celebrant at Mass in the Cathedral for the first time. Keep an eye on the blog over the coming days for more about the handover, and - of course - full coverage of Friday's Mass.