The Most Reverend Peter A Comensoli became the third Bishop of Broken Bay during a Solemn Mass of Installation at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, Waitara on 12 December 2014.
“On this feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, for who I have had a special devotion, I entrust my ministry and our diocese to the loving protection of St Mary, Star of the Sea, our sure light leading us to Christ,” Bishop Comensoli said.
“What exciting times lie before us as we together proclaim Christ crucified to the people of the Central Coast, the northern Peninsula and the North Shore,” he added.
Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Reverend Robert Borg and the Cathedral Clergy welcomed Bishop Comensoli. Indigenous Elder Uncle Neil Evers said the Welcome to Country and Director of Music, Noel Debien, led the Cathedral choir.
The liturgy was concelebrated by President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart; Metropolitan Archbishop of Sydney, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP and Emeritus Bishop of Broken Bay David Walker.
Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, Archbishop Paul Gallagher read the Papal Bull in Latin and Chancellor of the Diocese, Anne Walker, read an English translation of the Bull. Archbishop Gallagher and Archbishop Fisher escorted Bishop Comensoli to the cathedra, his Chair of Office as Bishop of Broken Bay.
During the Installation ceremony, Bishop Comensoli was congratulated by bishops from Australia and overseas, priests of the Diocese, religious and civic leaders, representatives from diocesan agencies, parishes and schools.
In his homily, Bishop Comensoli spoke about Juan Diego, a local indigenous Indian, who came across the Blessed Virgin Mary in early December 1531 at the Hill of Tepeyac, near Mexico City.
Speaking about evangelisation, Bishop Comensoli said ‘evangelising is nothing more – or less – than me telling someone the story of the value and significance of my friendship with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour’.
The new Bishop of Broken Bay said parish life is a vital and essential dimension to every diocese. ‘May I suggest that our faith communities are really local neighbourhoods of grace. We may have 26 parishes in our Diocese, but we actually have some 43 or so local neighbourhoods of grace, places where God’s people gather as a family of families.’
As a young diocese, Bishop Comensoli said, ‘it is you young people who are our particularly refreshing streams of grace. We need your vitality, hope and energy flowing into our diocesan river to replenish us. It is you young people who will courageously take up the challenge, now and into the future, to respond generously to Christ in whatever your call will be’.
Prayers of intercession were recited in Italian, Tongan, Korean, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Tagalog and Malayalam.
In his words of thanks, the new Bishop of Broken Bay expressed his gratitude to ‘our soon departing Nuncio, Archbishop Paul Gallagher’, to Bishop David Walker, ‘whom I humbly follow as Bishop of Broken Bay’ and Fr Vince Casey, ‘who has so capably administered our diocese over the past year’.
‘I hope I will be a good shepherd for you, after the heart of Jesus; the gift of your ongoing prayer will greatly aid me in this regard,’ Bishop Comensoli concluded.
A reception took place after Mass at The Light of Christ Centre, Waitara.
The coat of arms of Bishop Comensoli is a quotation from the Apostle Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians (1 Cor 1.23), translated as ‘We proclaim a crucified Christ’.