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Perth Archdiocese welcomes new auxiliary bishop

A packed congregation inside and outside St Mary's Cathedral last night witnessed the episcopal ordination of Bishop Don Sproxton as Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Perth.

The liturgy was conducted by Archbishop Barry Hickey in the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio and some 15 other Bishops from other dioceses around Australia. Brian Coyne of Vias Tuas Communications reports that a few hundred people seated before two giant video screens outside the cathedral probably had "the best seats in the house", with close up detail of the event inside.

The appointment of 48 year old Bishop Sproxton was announced in December. At the time, he said he had "a great optimism for the future of the Church" and said he sees signs of a missionary Church emerging from one that was renewing itself and coming to terms with its place in the world and a crisis of faith in the last half of the 20th Century.

Archbishop Barry Hickey spoke last night of the importance of allowing the Holy Spirit to "galvanise our actions", and how this especially applies in the work of a Bishop and priest. At the end of the evening, the new Bishop in his address of thanks spoke of the unexpectedness of his being given the call and ended with reflections on the importance of the Bishop, the priest, and the Church, being seen as "servant of their people".

The Catholic clergy were joined by leaders from other churches, including the Anglican Primate of Australia, Archbishop Peter Carnley, and the local Bishop of the Greek Orthodox community.

Archdiocese of Perth (photographic coverage of Bishop Sproxton's episcopal ordination)
Comment: Who would want to be bishop in the present climate? (Newman Graduate Society of WA)
Parish priest is Perth's new auxiliary bishop (13/12/01)

Vias Tuas