Commission for Ecumenism & Interfaith Dialogue

Warm Parramatta welcome to Oceania Bishops


Mass with Bishops of Oceania, St Patrick's Cathedral
Mass Photography: David Tang

The Diocese of Parramatta has welcomed Bishops attending the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania (FCBCO) Assembly, with Bishop of Parramatta Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP presiding at a Mass for the Bishops at St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Ten Oceania Bishops from New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Australia (including Bishop Emeritus of Parramatta, Bishop Kevin Manning) attended the Mass on Wednesday 12 May.

The FCBCO Assembly is being held in Sydney from 10 to 14 May.

The Oceania Bishops who joined with Bishop Anthony at the St Patrick's Cathedral Mass were:

  • Bishop Denis Browne, Bishop of Hamilton, New Zealand
  • Bishop Chris Cardone OP, Bishop of Auki, Solomon Islands
  • Bishop Austen Crapp, Bishop Emeritus of Aitape, Papua New Guinea
  • Bishop Ambrose Kiapseni MSC, Bishop of Kavieng, Papua New Guinea
  • Bishop Paini Mafi, Bishop of Tonga
  • Archbishop Petero Mataca MoF, Archbishop of Suva, Fiji
  • Bishop Bernard O'Grady OP, Emeritus Bishop of Gizo, Papua New Guinea
  • Bishop Peter Connors, Bishop of Ballarat, Australia
  • Bishop Issam Darwish BSO, Eparch of St Michael, Archangel (Melkite), Australia
  • Bishop William Morris, Bishop of Toowoomba, Australia
  • Bishop Kevin Manning, Bishop Emeritus of Parramatta, Australia

Music for the Mass was provided by the Sydney Catholic Tongan Choir.

In his homily, Bishop Anthony reflected on Pope John Paul II's Ecclesia in Oceania, and the ongoing need to focus on the formation of seminarians, priests and young people, as well as adult catechesis and faith development.

Mass with Oceania Bishops, St Patrick's Cathedral
Mass with Oceania Bishops, St Patrick's Cathedral

Held once every four years, the FCBCO Assembly gives the Bishops of the Oceania ‘continent’ of the Catholic Church important personal contact as they gain professional development.

FCBCO President, Bishop Peter Ingham from the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong, said The Church in Oceania was diverse and far-reaching, with different challenges in each of its countries.

"We come together for this Assembly to learn from and support one another as bishops and share the many gifts of our dioceses," he said.

“The current Executive has worked over the past four years to ensure that this 2010 Sydney meeting, of the Pastors of the Local Churches of Oceania, will further progress our communion, our collaboration and our mutual understanding of the joys, hopes, grief and anguish through which we work in making Jesus Christ better known and loved among the peoples of Oceania, as we walk his way, tell his truth and live his life.”

More photos from the St Patrick's Cathedral Mass with the Oceania Bishops can be found in the Media Gallery of the Diocese of Parramatta website.

You can also read Bishop Anthony's homily for the Mass in full in the Bishop's Homilies page on the Parramatta website.

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