Tuesday, March 31

2008: The Ordination of Bishop Campbell

This is Bishop Michael Campbell, the first Augustinian friar to become a Bishop in England since the Reformation. At the time of writing this blog, he is preparing to be formally inaugurated as the Sixth Bishop of Lancaster.

It's a year to the day since Bishop Campbell was ordained in a wonderful ceremony - one of the grandest that the Cathedral has ever witnessed. The church was filled to overflowing, with over 30 bishops, 200 clergy and several hundred religious and lay people from across the Diocese.

Presiding over the liturgy was Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue, who was assisted by Bishop Brian Noble of Shrewsbury (who grew up in the Cathedral parish) and Archbishop Patrick Kelly of Liverpool (who served here as a curate early in his priestly life).

The two Bishops have had a joint responsibility for the Diocese since that day. On May 1st Bishop O'Donoghue will retire and Bishop Campbell takes on the task alone.

A number of people gathered in the garden and on the streets outside both before and after Mass, simply to watch the processions. The mitred heads of the bishops certainly formed an impressive sight.

It was also believed to be the only occasion to date when two cardinals had been present at the Cathedral. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, preached at the ordination; Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, also attended. The Pope was represented by the Papal Nuncio.