Preaching at the liturgical installation of Bishop Michael Dooley as the seventh Bishop of Dunedin, Cardinal John Dew called on the people of that diocese to walk with and accompany their new bishop as he walks with and accompanies them.

At St Joseph’s Cathedral in Dunedin on April 27, the cardinal, as Metropolitan of New Zealand, presided at the installation.

“Bishop Michael will walk with you on your journey to holiness,” Cardinal Dew told the congregation, a holiness that is to be taken out into today’s world.

“And very importantly, you will walk with him. We [bishops] need people to walk with us on our journey to holiness as much as anybody else does.”

Cardinal Dew recalled a warning given to him by Cardinal Thomas Williams when he [Cardinal Dew] was ordained as bishop.

“Cardinal Tom Williams said every bishop knows the thorns that line the mitre. I panicked at that stage. But I want to tell you, it is not that bad.”

Earlier in the celebration, addresses of welcome had been given by Fr Wayne Healey on behalf of clergy, Sr Judith-Anne O’Sullivan, OP, on behalf of religious and Tui Pasco on behalf of laity.

They all promised support and prayers for their new shepherd.

In the homily, Cardinal Dew referred to something Fr Healey had said, that there will always be challenges.

“There will always be challenges and difficulties,” Cardinal Dew said to Bishop Dooley, “because that is a part of anyone’s life. But in the midst of the challenges, maybe the thorns sometimes, in the midst of the challenges and the trials, keep returning to your motto ‘Trust in God’.”

The cardinal referred several times to the new apostolic exhortation from Pope Francis, Gaudete et Exsultate.

“In that document, Pope Francis spoke of five great expressions of love of God and neighbour which he considers of particular importance in the light of certain dangers and limitations present in today’s culture. They are perseverance, patience and meekness; joy and a sense of humour; boldness and passion; in community; and in constant prayer. They are the way that the Pope describes our journey to holiness. They are also a way, Michael, that I believe that we live our call to respond and serve as bishops.

“We pray today as Michael is installed in this cathedral as bishop that he will be characterised by those expressions of love of God and neighbour.”

The cardinal also mentioned that a bishop preaches and lives the Gospel with his whole life, and that is not easy. But again he referred back to trusting in God.

The Rite of Installation started with Bishop Dooley and Cardinal Dew outside the cathedral. Bishop Dooley knocked three times on the door with his staff. The door was then opened by cathedral administrator Msgr John Harrison and the cardinal and bishop entered. The cardinal led the bishop through the cathedral while the people sang “Be Thou My Vision”. When they arrived at the sanctuary, the cardinal presented the bishop to the people.

Later, the cardinal invited Bishop Dooley to take his place in his chair. The bishop was then greeted by the other bishops present.

After Mass, on the steps of the cathedral, Bishop Dooley, Bishop Colin Campbell and Cardinal Dew, assisted by pupils from St Peter Chanel School, Green Island, released white doves, with the first seven released symbolising the seven bishops of Dunedin.

South symbols in crest

The coat of arms of Bishop Michael Dooley has a gold field referencing plains bisected by a wavy blue band representing the Aparima River in Southland, which flows near where the bishop was raised.

A staff denotes the bishop’s role as shepherd. The indented line above the gold field denotes the Takatimu Mountains in Southland.

The maroon section bears an image of the Blessed Sacrament with a black “Chi-Rho” symbol for Christ. The blue, gold and maroon colours reference the provinces of Otago and Southland.

The shield of the arms is ensigned with a “Galero” (Roman hat) with six “fiocchi” (tassels) on each side in green as is traditional for a bishop. Bishop Dooley’s motto “Trust in God” completes the design.

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