Friday 8 May 2009

A few final words

We noted earlier that the Papal Nuncio spoke at the end of Mass and that Bishop Roche read a message from Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor. Before that, however, there was an opportunity for Bishop Patrick to address the Diocese one final time. After thanking Bishop Michael for the opportunity to speak, Bishop Patrick spoke of people who were important to him: his family, whom he thanked for their great support, and the late Cardinal Basil Hume, who had been a close friend, received special mention.

Bishop Patrick spoke of his time in Lancaster and how great things had been achieved by working together: the reform of educational programmes in primary schools, a marked improvement in the Diocese's financial situation, the opening of the UK's first Cenacolo Community and the success of the 'Fit for Mission?' initiative were among the work that received special mention.

The Bishop finished by reminding us of something which has been a key message of his time in Lancaster: we all have a duty to preach the Gospel. He reminded us of the words spoken after the baptismal profession of faith: "This is our faith; this is the faith of the Church, and we are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord." It was a fitting finale from a bishop who has always been proud to profess the Catholic faith during his time with us. You can read the full text of Bishop Patrick's words on the diocesan website, here.