As 2013 draws gradually towards closure, the wrap up contains a variety of significant and important events. Principal among them, for us of the Diocese of Rockhampton, is the Holy Father’s acceptance of Bishop Brian Heenan’s resignation, having reached the normal age limit for Bishops. We have been nurtured for twenty-two years by his pastoral and sensitive ministry in which a clear model of discipleship has emerged as Bishop Brian focussed regularly on Jesus at the heart of all our aspirations.
The Anglican Church of Central Queensland is also gearing up to farewell its Bishop, Bishop Godfrey Fryar. After ten years as Bishop of Rockhampton, Bishop Godfrey will retire on 13th December. During his term of office, Bishop Godfrey has displayed a welcoming ecumenical spirit and been regularly associated with Bishop Brian, especially in outreach to the indigenous. Both Bishops cherish a passion for justice, truth and love.
In a visible and living sense, Bishops Brian and Godfrey have been beacons of grace and faith across the face of their respective dioceses in Central Queensland. Their conclusion of ministry here somewhat coincides with the conclusion of the Year of Grace and the Year of Faith on the Feast of Christ the King which seals off another liturgical year. We are, therefore, on the brink of Advent which rapidly leads into Christmas, the Feast of God’s incredible love in the person of the Christ Child.
Celebrations will herald the close of the year, especially in schools and colleges. I wish to thank all of our education personnel for the enthusiasm which they engender in the formation of young people in the faith and the overall readiness for a responsible way of life.
During November we find a steady reminder of our destiny in the Feast of All Saints and of our human frailty in the Feast of All Souls. November puts us “on our toes” as one year fades and serves as a springboard into an even better one ahead.
As we pray for a new Shepherd for the Diocese, I wish you the graces and blessings of Christmas and a safe and peaceful journey into the New Year.
Fr. John Grace