Australia's newest Bishop ordained today
In the first episcopal ordination in Adelaide since the 1980s, Bishop-elect Greg O'Kelly will be ordained tonight before a congregation of 5000 people who will fill the Adelaide Convention Centre.
According to an Adelaide Archdiocese spokesperson, the ordination will be "the most significant Catholic Church event in South Australia for some years".
It will attract church leaders and dignitaries, including cardinals, archbishops and bishops from around Australia as well as fifty of Fr O'Kelly's Jesuit confreres.
Principal Consecrator will be the present Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson with retired Archbishop Len Faulkner and Port Pirie Bishop Eugene Hurley as Co-Consecrators.
Archbishop Ambrose De Paoli, Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, Sydney's Cardinal George Pell, and Bishop of Darwin Ted Collins will concelebrate the Mass, according to an Adelaide archdiocesan statement.
Readers will include South Australia's Chief Justice John Doyle, a Saint Ignatius College old scholar. ABC newsreader Michael Smyth and Channel Seven journalist and presenter Rosanna Mangiarelli will commentate.
A special hymn has also been written for the event by Jesuit composer Christopher Willcock, using a prayer composed by the former General of the Society, Pedro Arrupe.
Fr O'Kelly's ordination, appointed Auxiliary Bishop in July, will see him become the first Jesuit elevated to such a position in Australia in a year that marks 150 years of Jesuit education in South Australia and the Jubilee of St Francis Xavier.
"Our Province did not expect to be separated from someone of Greg's talents and leadership," Australian Jesuit provincial Fr Mark Raper says. "Yet we know the Catholic and wider community in Adelaide will benefit greatly from Greg's service in this crucial support role to Archbishop Wilson."
Fr Raper said he was confident that Fr O'Kelly will serve the Church in Adelaide with all his energy, and that he brings great experience and pastoral gifts to the role.
"Our prayers and support are with him always," Fr Raper said.
Fr O'Kelly, 64, who was awarded an Order of Australia for services to education in the 1994, was Headmaster of Saint Ignatius' College for 12 years. Fr O'Kelly entered the Society of Jesus in 1959 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1972.
Adelaide Archdiocese (Media Release, 13/9/06)
Australian Jesuits (Media Release, 13/9/06)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Saint Ignatius' College, Adelaide
Benedict appoints first Australian Jesuit bishop (CathNews, 7/7/06)
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Returning deportees say Afghanistan was "like hell" (CathNews 5/12/03)
Jesuit schools take stand to avoid Year 12 comparisons (CathNews 18/11/02)
14 Sep 2006