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21 May 2020

Installation of Archbishop Patrick O’Regan

Monday 25 May will hold extra special significance for the Catholic Church in Adelaide…

Monday 25 May will hold extra special significance for the Catholic Church in Adelaide this year as The Most Reverend Patrick O’Regan will be installed as the ninth Archbishop of Adelaide. The installation ceremony will take place at 10.30am in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral and can be viewed live online at the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide website.

Watch the live stream here from 10.30am on Monday 25 May >

Who is our new Archbishop?

Archbishop-designate Patrick Michael O’Regan comes to Adelaide from the Diocese of Sale where he has been the Bishop since 2014. Appointed by Pope Francis on 19 March 2020, Archbishop-designate O’Regan will be the ninth Archbishop of Adelaide.

Bishop O’Regan was born in Bathurst in 1958 and educated at St Joseph’s Primary School in Perthville and at St Stanislaus’ College Bathurst. He undertook seminary training at St Columba’s College Springwood and St Patrick’s College Manly, and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Bathurst in 1983.

He was appointed Bishop of Sale in December 2014, with his episcopal ordination in February 2015. He holds a licentiate in sacred liturgy and sacramental theology from the Institut Catholique de Paris and is a member of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.

Where is the installation being held, and who is going to be there?

The installation of Archbishop-designate O’Regan will take place in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral at 10.30am on Monday May 25.

Due to the coronavirus restrictions there will be a small group of people at the installation, including Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ who, in the absence of the Apostolic Nuncio, has been deputed to read the Bull of Appointment and witness the Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity.

Concelebrating priests will be Fr Philip Marshall, Administrator Delegate, Fr Anthoni Adimai SdM, Cathedral Administrator, and Mgr Robert Rice.

John Lochowiak , NATSICC Chairperson, and Alex Agius of the Kaurna people, will conduct the Welcome to Country. Other attendees include a small number of students, lay members of the Archdiocese, servers and choir members.

Under the advice of SA Police, the installation has been deemed an approved workplace gathering with no more then 30 people permitted to attend. Due to the size of the Cathedral the current social distancing principles of one person per four square metres can easily be observed.

For the rest of us, the installation will be live streamed via the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide website and replayed on local community TV station Channel 44 at 5.30pm (ACST).

Why is it called an ‘installation’ and what does it involve?

When Bishop Patrick O’Regan was appointed by Pope Francis as the ninth Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Adelaide, he had been a Bishop for nearly six years. His episcopal ordination took place in Sale on February 26, 2015. For this reason, Bishop Patrick will be ‘installed’ as the Archbishop of Adelaide.

What does this ceremony involve?

It begins at the door of the cathedral, where Archbishop-designate O’Regan will knock on the door, seeking entrance. There he will be greeted by Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ, the Apostolic Administrator, Fr Philip Marshall, Fr Anthoni Adimai and Mgr Robert Rice who will walk with him through the cathedral to the steps of the sanctuary. There Fr Adimai will hand him a crucifix, which he will venerate, and holy water, with which he will bless himself.

The actual Rite of Installation takes place after Bishop O’Kelly has formally welcomed everyone.

Bishop O’Kelly will read the formal letter (called a papal bull) from Pope Francis appointing Bishop O’Regan as the ninth Archbishop of Adelaide. Once this has been read, the Archbishop-designate gives his formal acceptance of the appointment. To this the congregation responds with a heartfelt acclamation.

At this point Bishop O’Kelly will lead Archbishop-designate O’Regan to the cathedra, the bishop’s chair. It is when he sits in this chair that he formally becomes the Archbishop of Adelaide.

Once Archbishop O’Regan is seated, the bishop’s staff, (or crozier), is brought forward and presented to him. This marks him as the Chief Shepherd of the Archdiocese, the one appointed to care for all the faithful of the local Church.

Representatives of this local Church then come forward to formally ‘recognise’ our new Archbishop. This will include a member of the clergy, a member of one of the numerous Religious Orders that minister in our Archdiocese, the Director of Catholic Education, a student and a parishioner from a local parish.

This brings to a conclusion the Rite of Installation and Mass will continue in the normal manner, with Archbishop O’Regan as the Chief Celebrant.

What does an Archbishop do?

In the Catholic Church there are three levels of ordination within the sacrament of Holy Orders: Deacon, Priest and Bishop. The Second Vatican Council spoke of the Bishop as having ‘the fullness of the sacrament of Orders’ and dedicated an entire Decree to the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church. So, as we prepare to welcome our new Archbishop, Patrick O’Regan, into the Archdiocese of Adelaide we might be wondering what a Bishop is, and how an Archbishop differs from a Bishop.

The primary role of any Bishop is to ensure that the work of Christ is carried out at the local level by caring for all the faithful entrusted to him in his particular diocese. Often the Bishop is referred to as the Chief Shepherd, since his ministry is modelled on that of Christ, the Good Shepherd. Immediately we can see that the role of the Bishop is not simply that of ‘governing’ a local Church, but of caring for it and nurturing it and enabling it to grow and flourish. The role of the Bishop is that of guardian, teacher and preacher.

So then, how does an Archbishop differ from a Bishop? It is because he heads a ‘team’ of Bishops in a particular geographical area or province. In our case, Adelaide, Port Pirie and Darwin form such a province. Because Adelaide is the chief diocese, the Bishop of this diocese is given the title ‘Metropolitan Archbishop’ and Bishops O’Kelly (Port Pirie Diocese) and Gauci (Darwin Diocese) are known as ‘suffragan bishops’ (while still retaining full authority in their respective dioceses).