My dear people of the Diocese of Rockhampton
This week I am visiting Mackay and the various communities that make up this wonderful part of the Diocese. On Thursday, I had a few hours space in the diary and drove up to the township of Calen where I enjoyed meeting with Sue and Fay who make the greatest coffee and toasted sandwiches at the servo at Kojolo. I was amazed to see a copy of the parish newsletter proudly displayed on the bench and hopefully this edition of The Review will take its place from this month.
I made a short stop in the church of St Helen and enjoyed looking at the painting of St Helen carrying the true cross of Jesus. St Helen was the mother of Constantine and identified many of the sacred sites in the Holy Land.
Later in the year, I hope to include a visit to these northern communities. The words of the song, “I’ve Been Everywhere” are becoming my words as I travel throughout this vast Diocese from the west where I experienced first hand the dryness of the earth and the frustration of our farmers who have been patiently waiting for rain to fall from the skies; to the mining areas and listened to the many people who have lost their jobs with the downturn of the mining industry, meeting with many workers who were born overseas and have been assisting with our industries; visiting all of our schools and enjoying our youth as they are being educated in the faith and celebrating in each of the communities a vibrant faith.
It is indeed a great privilege to be your Bishop and to meet the wonderful people who are part of this great Diocese. Thank you all for your great welcome and hospitality and great cooks.
At the beginning of September, I will fly to Rome as I have been enrolled in Bishop’s School for two weeks and part of the school is a visit to the Vatican and meeting with many of the Cardinals and people who work in the various departments of the Vatican.
The highlight will be the meeting with Pope Francis on Thursday September 18th and my diary has a great circle around the date. I hope to catch up with Father Andrew who is studying in Rome. At the end of the Bishop’s School I am staying on for a two-day conference on Evangelisation.
I will taking you all with me and praying for the Diocese at the Tombs of St Peter and St Paul and taking your greetings with me when I meet the Holy Father.
May God continue to bless you all.
Bishop of Rockhampton