Bishop Jarrett Celebrates the 10th. Anniversary of Episcopal Ordination

February 23, 2011 3:41 pm
Clergy and Laity returned to St. Carthage’s Cathedral yesterday to celebrate with Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of his Episcopal Ordination. To the day, ten years ago, the then Father Geoffrey Jarrett from Hobart, was ordained the Coadjutor Bishop of Lismore.
Commenting on the occasion Bishop Jarrett responded to the following questions:
# What, in your opinion, have been the significant highlights of your ten years in the Diocese of Lismore?
Highlights, in the sense of moments looked back upon as turning points are rare in the life of most dioceses. The ordinary work of a priest or bishop in supporting the steady faithfulness and Christian witness of the people of the Church does not attract much attention and cannot be quantified. Programmes and events come and go. What counts is how we have been witnesses to Jesus Christ and the truth which brings life and freedom to the human heart. This alone is what builds up the Church
Certainly one of a bishop’s most important responsibilities is to provide new priests to continue to shepherd the people with the word of teaching and the grace of the sacraments. In this we have been blessed. By the end of this year I shall have ordained four new priests and another eight young men are at various stages along the path to the priesthood.
# How have the changing attitudes to mainstream christianity affected the development and acceptance of catholic practice in the Diocese, if at all, over your ten years?
Attitudes to mainstream Christianity, at least in some quarters if not popularly, have certainly changed and will continue to do so. We are deluged today as never before with information and ideas. New technologies keep leaping ahead of themselves, and keep us distracted from deepening any real interior life. There seem to be few fixed points any more, whether it be stable families or solid and trustworthy institutions, reference points for a moral consensus. Everything has become relative, the self is all that’s left, and the self is more and more soulless. The abandonment, even deliberate efforts, to discredit and replace the high values of western civilization, at the heart and basis of which has always been the Judaeo-Christian religion, has led to a vacuum of meaning which I think is becoming increasingly unbearable.
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# How will you address your perceived future needs of the Diocese in the future? Any specific projects you have in mind?
A bishop is above all a witness to faith, and a guarantor of the revelation given by God once and for all in the Person of His Son, and passed on to every generation by the Church. The bishop’s task is to be an animator, pointing the way forward, through the families, the parishes and the schools of a faithful people who then become the salt and the light, a leaven in the wider society, bringing life and fresh air into the stifling vacuum in which we increasingly find ourselves.
Just ten faithful families in every parish, ten teachers and ten students in every Christian school have the power to transform and energise the larger mass in which they are placed. That’s the way God always works, that’s the way the Church keeps growing across the centuries and until the end of time. That’s the way no matter how bad things seems to be, hope remains not merely alive, but victorious.
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